North Korea newspaper blasts 'double-dealing' US after Pompeo's trip canceled

Aug 26 (Reuters) - North Korea's state-controlled newspaper on Sunday accused the United States of "double-dealing" and "hatching a criminal plot" against Pyongyang, after Washington abruptly canceled a visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Negotiations have been all but deadlocked since U.S. President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June.

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US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean Kim Yong Chol (L) outside the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington,DC after a meeting, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(C) looks on. - North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's right-hand man met with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to deliver a letter from his leader that could pave the way to a historic nuclear summit. Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling party executive and a veteran regime insider, arrived for his Oval Office encounter accompanied by the senior US officials who have overseen an extraordinary diplomatic opening. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean Kim Yong Chol (L) outside the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington,DC after a meeting, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(C) looks on. - North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's right-hand man met with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to deliver a letter from his leader that could pave the way to a historic nuclear summit. Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling party executive and a veteran regime insider, arrived for his Oval Office encounter accompanied by the senior US officials who have overseen an extraordinary diplomatic opening. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump looks at North Korean Kim Yong Chol (L) outside the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington,DC after a meeting, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(C) looks on. - North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's right-hand man met with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to deliver a letter from his leader that could pave the way to a historic nuclear summit. Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling party executive and a veteran regime insider, arrived for his Oval Office encounter accompanied by the senior US officials who have overseen an extraordinary diplomatic opening. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump walks with North Korean Kim Yong Chol (L) outside the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington,DC after a meeting, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(R) looks on. - North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's right-hand man met with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to deliver a letter from his leader that could pave the way to a historic nuclear summit. Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling party executive and a veteran regime insider, arrived for his Oval Office encounter accompanied by the senior US officials who have overseen an extraordinary diplomatic opening. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Worker's Party Central Committee, left, and John Kelly, White House chief of staff, walk through the Colonnade of the White House toward the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 1, 2018. A top envoy from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived at the White House today to meet with President Donald Trump, the first visit by a key official from the isolated country to Washington in at least 18 years. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: US President Donald Trump (2-R) walks with Kim Yong Chol (2-L), former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) looks on outside the Oval Office of the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Both Trump and Kim Yong Chol are trying to salvage a recently canceled historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: US President Donald Trump (3-L) stands next to Kim Yong Chol (2-L) , former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) looks on outside the Oval Office of the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Both Trump and Kim Yong Chol are trying to salvage a recently canceled historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: US President Donald Trump speaks with Kim Yong Chol (L), former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on outside the Oval Office of the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Both Trump and Kim Yong Chol are trying to salvage a recently canceled historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean Kim Yong Chol (L) on the South Lawn of the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington, DC, after a meeting, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C) looks on. - US President Donald Trump said Friday his summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is back on for next month, after extraordinary Oval Office talks with a top envoy from Pyongyang. Trump emerged after a more than hour-long Oval Office meeting with Kim Yong Chol -- a general facing US sanctions who is Kim's right-hand man -- saying that the summit will go ahead in Singapore on June 12 as originally planned. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: US President Donald Trump walks out of the Oval Office with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, on June 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Both Trump and Kim Yong Chol are trying to salvage a recently canceled historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: US President Donald Trump stands with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, on the South Lawn of the White House on June 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Both Trump and Kim Yong Chol are trying to salvage a recently canceled historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
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Pompeo has pressed for tangible steps toward North Korea's abandonment of its nuclear arsenal while Pyongyang is demanding that Washington first make concessions of its own.

North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper said U.S. special units based in Japan were staging an air drill aimed at "the infiltration into Pyongyang," citing a South Korean media outlet.

"Such acts prove that the U.S. is hatching a criminal plot to unleash a war against the DPRK and commit a crime which deserves merciless divine punishment in case the U.S. fails in the scenario of the DPRK's unjust and brigandish denuclearisation first," the paper said.

"We cannot but take a serious note of the double-dealing attitudes of the U.S. as it is busy staging secret drills involving man-killing special units while having a dialog with a smile on its face," it noted.

A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul said he had no information on the drill alleged in the newspaper. The U.S. military spokesman in South Korea was not immediately available to comment.

The editorial, which did not mention the Pompeo visit, urged Washington to give up the "pointless military gamble" and implement the Singapore agreement, in which the leaders pledged to work towards a complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Since the summit, the two sides have struggled to narrow differences over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

Pyongyang is calling for a declaration of peace as part of security guarantees designed to encourage it to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, while the Trump administration says a peace deal and other concessions will only come after more progress on denuclearisation.

In part to reassure North Korea, Trump canceled or delayed joint military drills with South Korea, but smaller exercises continue.

Trump partly blamed China for the lack of progress with North Korea and suggested that talks with Pyongyang could be on hold until after Washington resolved its bitter trade dispute with Beijing. China expressed "serious concern" about Trump's comments, which it called "irresponsible." (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Josh Smith; Editing by Alison Williams) 

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