Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

United States attitude during denuclearization talks 'regrettable', says North Korea

United States attitude during denuclearization talks 'regrettable', says North Korea

North Korea's accusation that Pompeo had made "gangster-like" demands, which came after two days of talks that began in Pyongyang on Friday, contradicted Pompeo's comments on Saturday that he had made progress on "almost all of the central issues".

The talks are part of a broader US initiative to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Nauert on Saturday told reporters that Pompeo did not meet Kim during this visit to North Korea but also that they had not expected him to.

Earlier, Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol both said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to in Singapore.

"However, the attitude of the United States in the first high-level talks held on the 6th and 7th were indeed regrettable".

"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", he added.

The DPRK felt deep regret over the attitude of the USA delegation led by Pompeo at the high-level talks held Friday and Saturday with DPRK officials, a spokesman of the country's Foreign Ministry said.

And it did so in stark terms, according to a statement relayed by the KCNA state news agency.

A key aim of Mr Pompeo during his visit was to firm up North Korea's commitment to disarmament. Both were intended for North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un.

Mr Kim made a broad commitment in Singapore to "work toward denuclearisation" but did not give details on how or when he would dismantle North Korea's nuclear programme. There are signs that North Korea has been expanding some missile manufacturing sites.

Japan's Kono thanked Pompeo and said the three allies had reaffirmed a commitment to keeping sanctions on North Korea until it abandoned nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of all ranges. "These are complicated issues but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues". And, he and other USA officials said the two countries, still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War, had set up working groups to deal with details of an agreement.

US Secretary of State Returns to North Korea for Nuclear Talks
Last week, a senior defense official said the USA would have data points "pretty soon" that would determine if North Korea was "operating in good faith or not".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed a North Korean report that described his recent meetings with a North Korean official as "regrettable".

Before he left Pyongyang, Pompeo said U.S. negotiators and their North Korean counterparts discussed the idea of a full declaration of North Korean weapons of mass destruction stockpiles, and setting a timeline for giving them up.

"Director Kim, I slept just fine", Pompeo responded.

Speaking privately, United States officials suggested the harshly-worded North Korean reaction was a negotiating tactic.

Those include the formation of a working group to determine exactly how North Korea's denuclearisation will be verified and a Thursday meeting with Pentagon officials to discuss the return of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

Mike Pompeo has shrugged off North Korea's assessment of the latest denuclearisation talks as being "gangster-like".

Pompeo met with top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, among other members of the North Korean government, but he did not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "We had productive, good-faith negotiations", he added.

"Sanctions will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearisation as agreed to by Chairman Kim (Jong Un) occurs", Pompeo said, adding that the USA would seek to smooth the path by providing security guarantees requested by Pyongyang.

The US-North Korea talks are being closely watched across Asia.

The U.S. delegation left Pyongyang later in the day, with the Secretary of State due to hold a three-way press conference in Tokyo with South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Sunday.

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