A senior North Korean diplomat said on Saturday that the expectations for talks with the US were disappearing.

“Pompeo has gone so far in his language and it made the opening of the expected DPRK-US working-level negotiations more difficult,” First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

“We are being pushed to re-examine all the measures we have taken so far,” Choe said.

Choe’s remarks come after Pompeo on Tuesday said in a speech to American veterans that the North’s “rogue behaviour could not be ignored” and the US has “galvanized global support to denuclearize North Korea”.

The statement also came after Washington on Friday sanctioned three shipping firms for allegedly engaging in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum goods to North Korea.

In response to Pompeo’s remark, North Korea has stepped up its criticism lately, calling him a “diehard toxin” and casting doubt on attempts to restart talks.

Negotiations aimed at dismantling the North’s nuclear and missile programmes have stalled since a failed second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in February.

Trump and Kim had met again in June at the inter-Korean border and agreed to reopen working-level negotiations, but that has not happened.

Since the Vietnam summit, North Korea has demanded that Pompeo be replaced with a “more mature” person while lauding the rapport built between Kim and Trump.

North Korea has fired a series of short-range missiles in recent weeks in protest against US-South Korea joint military exercises and the adoption of new weapons, complicating the reopening of the talks.