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Pompeo shrugs off 'gangster' rebuke from North Korea

10 July 2018
Pompeo shrugs off 'gangster' rebuke from North Korea

"The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization", a North Korea Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement, later saying the country cherishes "our good faith in President Trump".

His remark came after North Korea expressed harsh criticism after Pompeo and United States diplomats wrapped up their meeting with the North Korean counterpart, including Kim Yong-chol, the country's former spy chief and top party official.

Pompeo downplayed a harshly critical North Korean statement issued after the talks in which the country's foreign ministry bashed hopes for a quick deal and attacked the USA for making unreasonable and extortionate demands aimed at forcing it to abandon nuclear weapons.

Two days of talks with senior North Korean officials had 'made progress, ' he said, and included a 'detailed and substantive discussion about the next steps'.

It is the first time he has visited North Korea since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore. "The North Koreans understand that and have not challenged that".

"Particularly, they have suggested that they are disappointed by the U.S. insistence on focusing on the denuclearisation plans over what they described as big-picture issues", she said.

Pompeo, who didn't even meet with Kim Jong-un, was firmly rebuked for the administration's demands that North Korea unilaterally denuclearize.

But Trump tweeted Monday that he has "confidence" that Kim would honor the denuclearization "contract" they signed at the summit and accused China - the isolated North's powerful neighbor and ally - of seeking to undermine the deal.

Last month, Kim agreed to "work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" in return for security guarantees and an end to a unsafe stand-off with United States forces.

Pompeo left North Korea on Saturday humiliated and empty-handed.

Pompeo brushed the negative comments aside during a press briefing in Tokyo on July 8 and again in Afghanistan on July 9, saying that the two sides made progress during the talks.

A state department spokesperson said Mr Pompeo had been "very firm" in focusing on denuclearisation, as well as on security assurances and another important USA demand - the return of remains of U.S. service personnel from the Korean War.

Speaking later to members of the US-Vietnamese business community in Hanoi, Mr Pompeo called on Mr Kim to replicate Vietnam's "miracle" of economic growth by improving ties with the US, vowing that America keeps its promises with former foes.

That incorporated exercise would be launched in October when the Hoguk field training drill takes place, the ministers said.

Skepticism has grown over how and whether North Korea will dismantle its nuclear weapons program amid USA media reports that the country has continued to develop nuclear facilities.

The discoveries have further undercut Trump's assertion that North Korea was "no longer a nuclear threat". With Trump waging an ill-advised trade war against China, Beijing now has less incentive than ever to help the United States by pressuring Pyongyang, as Trump himself acknowledges. "We're in a fight with China", he said on "Fox News Sunday". "I really believe that he sees a different future for North Korea", Trump told reporters.

Pompeo went to Pyongyang with a letter for Kim Jong Un from Mr. Trump.

As they began their talks on Saturday, Kim Yong Chol alluded to the fact that Pompeo and his delegation had stayed overnight in Pyongyang.