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North Korea says Pompeo talks 'regrettable'

09 July 2018
North Korea says Pompeo talks 'regrettable'

-North Korea summit in Singapore, Trump declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on Sunday.

North Korea's angry reaction to the talks with Pompeo came in a Foreign Ministry statement that berated the Secretary over his "unilateral and gangster-like" demands and for offering no constructive steps on the U.S. side.

Just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that his talks during the past two days with the North Korean government were "productive" and beneficial regarding "central issues", the communist nation's Foreign Ministry categorically disagreed, calling the meetings in Pyongyang "regrettable". "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", he said. "Across the range of weapons and missiles, it's a broad definition of denuclearisation, and the North Koreans understand that and have not challenged that", he said.

Trust between the two sides was now at a "dangerous stage" that could lead the country to falter in its commitment to give up nuclear weapons, KCNA said - adding that North Korea still trusts President Donald Trump.

Last month, at a historic summit with US President Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un agreed to "work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" in return for security guarantees and an end to a unsafe stand-off with US forces.

Abraham Denmark, a senior defense official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said: "This is a rejection of USA demands for unilateral denuclearisation by North Korea, and a clear message that the US will need to give up more to make progress". "In other words, after USA troops are withdrawn and U.S".

Officials from the two sides would meet next week in Panmunjom, on the border between the two Koreas, to discuss the return of the remains of the some 7,000 US soldiers still listed as missing in action since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Pompeo, who was on his third visit to Pyongyang, began the outreach when he was still Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director and remained the pointman on negotiations after the process became public and he became secretary of state. Pompeo left Pyongyang for Japan early Saturday afternoon but it wasn't immediately clear if he met with leader Kim Jong Un, as had been expected.

Instead, Pompeo sat down with Kim Yong Chol, the country's spy chief, for three hours.

"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday". "So thinking about those discussions you might have not slept well last night".

However, he emphasized that the North still has trust in U.S. President Donald Trump, apparently hinting that Pyongyang wants to keep the ongoing denuclearization talks on track. Pompeo responded, "There are things that I have to clarify as well".

Pompeo and Kim met for almost three hours on Friday and then had dinner amid growing scepticism over how serious Kim Jong-un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his summit with Trump into concrete action.

Pompeo said Defense Departmentofficials will meet with North Korean officials on July 12 at the Demilitarized Zone to discuss the repatriation of remains, which North Korea committed to last month.

"What the U.S.is requesting is the cancerous demands from previous administrations that blocked all dialogue processes", the statement read, in the kind of overheated rhetoric that the Kim regime and Trump administration share a fondness for.

Indeed, the wording of North Korea's statement may also suggest that it viewed the four items in the Trump-Kim agreement as a schedule.