North Korea Warns America: Our Patience Is Wearing Thin

North Korea has issued its latest demand that the U.S. work harder to find common ground on sanctions relief and denuclearization, warning leaders in Washington that patience in Kim Jong Un's regime is wearing thin.

A statement issued Tuesday by the North Korean foreign ministry said the U.S. must abandon its "current way of calculation" if it wished to revive talks between the two nations, which stalled following the collapse of February's bilateral summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The statement was carried by the Rodong Sinmun newspaper—the official publication of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. It said an adjustment to America's approach would be the "correct strategic choice" to keep alive the joint statement signed by Kim and President Donald Trump in Singapore in June 2018, in which both committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The message—attributed to a ministry spokesperson—said the survival of the agreement depends on how America responds to "our fair and reasonable stand." If the response is inadequate, the spokesperson said the Singapore statement would become "a mere blank sheet of paper."

"The U.S. should duly look back on the past one year and cogitate about which will be a correct strategic choice before it is too late," the official continued. "The U.S. would be well-advised to change its current method of calculation and respond to our request as soon as possible. There is a limit to our patience."

The Hanoi summit failed when it became clear that the U.S. and North Korean teams were still too far apart on the issues of sanctions relief and denuclearization. According to Reuters, Trump demanded that Kim surrender all nuclear weapons and fuel before any sanctions were lifted. Kim rejected the proposal and the meeting ended early.

Relations between Washington and Pyongyang were subsequently undermined by new North Korean missile tests and the seizure of a North Korean tanker accused of violating international sanctions on the secretive country by transporting coal.

Stalled dialogue has given way to increasingly pugnacious public statements, particularly from the North Koreans. Last month for example, a foreign ministry official threatened a "fiercer response" if the U.S. did not adjust its negotiating strategy.

Faltering relations have raised the prospect that the two nations could slide back to the kind of animosity that threatened a military confrontation and prompted Trump to threaten "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Despite widespread agreement that North Korea's recent missile tests violated United Nations resolutions, Trump has publicly tried to avoid criticizing Kim's conduct. During his recent state visit to Japan, the president contradicted Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, his own national security advisor and the State Department, all of whom said the launches contravened UN resolutions.

"I view it differently," Trump told reporters. Asked whether he was bothered by the tests, he replied, "No, I'm not. I am personally not." The president added that he was "very happy" with progress on North Korea, despite the collapse in talks.

North Korea, Donald Trump, Threat, negotiations
Korean People's Army tanks take part in a military parade on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang, North Korea, on September 9, 2018. Getty/ED JONES/AFP