"Continue the sanctions. We won't give in," says North Korea.
Pyeongyang's state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun released an op-ed on Friday.
It didn't explicitly mention or target the United States but strongly denounced the international sanctions, saying that Pyeongyang's "enemies" are intensifying them.
The op-ed says these so-called enemies think North Korea will give up in the end but it won't.
Pyeongyang, it says, will instead keep up its self-reliant spirit to ultimately build a strong state despite external influences.
Recently, North Korea has been calling for the international sanctions to be eased because it has taken steps towards denuclearization.
But the U.S. is firm in keeping the pressure on North Korea.
And recently, this appears to be not only through economic sanctions but restrictions on humanitarian aid as well.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Washington is blocking aid workers from traveling to the North and the decision-maker is the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The reason -- apparently the possibility that North Korea could misuse the humanitarian assistance for its nuclear weapons program.
Meanwhile, there are growing calls from other corners too for sanctions relief -- namely China and Russia, as the North works to strengthen ties with its traditional allies.
Just this week, the vice foreign ministers of Pyeongyang, Beijing and Moscow had three-way talks, where they called on the UN Security Council to review the sanctions and for the relevant parties to take reciprocal actions.
With the U.S. determined to keep the sanctions in place until denuclearization happens, it's not clear what crucial common ground Pyeongyang and Washington will be able to find next in their nuclear negotiations.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.