In the first sign of tensions since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to end his country’s nuclear program last month, Pyongyang on Sunday accused the U.S. of “misleading public opinion” by claiming U.S. pressure prompted the denuclearization pledge. A foreign ministry spokesman cited by the official KCNA news agency said the North’s decision to close its nuclear testing site had nothing to do with U.S. sanctions. The spokesman went on to warn Washington not to “deliberately provoke” Pyongyang by moving to deploy strategic assets in the South. “This act cannot be construed otherwise than a dangerous attempt to ruin the hardly-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one,” the spokesman said. President Trump, who is expected to meet with Kim for a historic sit-down in the next few weeks, has promised to maintain sanctions on Pyongyang for the time being and repeatedly suggested his hardline stance is to thank for the thaw in relations.
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