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North Korea: 'No way' we will disarm without trust in US

North Korea: 'No way' we will disarm without trust in US

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho slammed the U.S. in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, saying the nation would not back off from its nuclear weapons without being able to trust Washington. 

“Without any trust in the U.S. there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” he said, according to Reuters.

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“The perception that sanctions can bring us on our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant about us. But the problem is that the continued sanctions are deepening our mistrust,” Ri added.

The comments came in sharp contrast to those from Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoHouthis: US sanctions prolonging war in Yemen China plays the Trump card, but Biden is not buying it Trump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run MORE, who maintained that sanctions would remain in place until the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula could be verified.

“Enforcement of Security Council sanctions must continue vigorously and without fail until we realize the fully, final, verified denuclearization,” Pompeo said.

Ri said North Korea had made "significant goodwill measures," including "stopping nuclear and [intercontinental ballistic missile] tests, dismantling the nuclear test site in a transparent manner and affirming not to transfer nuclear weapons and nuclear technology under any circumstances," but said the nation did not "see any corresponding response from the U.S."

President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE, who has touted U.S. relations with North Korea under his administration, has reportedly grown frustrated by a lack of progress in denuclearization since he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June.

On Wednesday, however, Trump expressed optimism that he and Kim could ultimately reach a deal.

“We have a very good relationship. He likes me, I like him, we get along,” Trump said at a press conference Wednesday. “He wants to make a deal and I’d like to make a deal.” 

Trump also said Wednesday that he does not want to “play the time game” with North Korea, adding he doesn't care if it takes years for the country to denuclearize.

Administration officials have previously said they were aiming for North Korea to take major steps toward denuclearization by the end of Trump’s first term.