North Korea has condemned the United States over its latest sanctions measures, warning that Washington's approach could block the path to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula "forever".

Yesterday, the US imposed sanctions on three North Korean officials over human rights abuses.

One of those sanctioned is considered a close aide to North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

A statement carried by the official North Korean news agency, praised US President Donald Trump for his efforts to improve relations with Pyongyang, but criticised the US State Department for imposing the sanctions.

After the Singapore summit in June between Mr Trump and Mr Kim progress stalled in talks on denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

Since then, North Korea has been demanding sanctions relief and has condemned US insistence on its nuclear disarmament.

Last week, Washington added three senior North Korean officials to those subject to sanctions over what the US said were human rights abuses.

In a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency, North Korea said Mr Trump had repeatedly expressed his desire to improve relations with Pyongyang.

However, it said the US State Department was "bent on bringing the DPRK-US relations back to the status of last year which was marked by exchanges of fire".

DPRK is the official name for North Korea.

Despite the latest war of words, a second summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim is expected to be held next year.

Mr Trump is facing criticism over the planned talks since North Korea has taken few concrete steps to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programme.