Pompeo Says North Korea Talks Were Productive, Pushes Back on Criticism

Pompeo Says North Korea Talks Were Productive, Pushes Back on Criticism

Pompeo Says North Korea Talks Were Productive, Pushes Back on Criticism

In a statement released by an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman, Pyongyang accused the United States of betraying the spirit of last month's summit between Donald Trump and Kim by making "one-sided and robber-like" demands on "CVID" - the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea.

In an unexpectedly negative statement on Saturday, Pyongyang said that America had betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim.

When South Korean reporters visiting Pyongyang asked North Korean officials if Xi's visit was confirmed, their response was, "He has to come because we have invited him".

The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea on Sunday reaffirmed their unity in urging North Korea to denuclearize as promised, despite Pyongyang accusing Washington of making unilateral and "gangster-like" demands.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo with his Japanese and South Korean Pompeo responded directly to North Korea's Foreign Ministry's comment, after his two-day trip to Pyongyang, that the US employed a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization".

North Korea hasn't said publicly what security assurances it would need to get rid of its nuclear weapons, but in the past they have included the withdrawal of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea and an end to US-South Korean military drills.

"Sanctions will remain in place until final fully verified denuclearization as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong-un has occurred", he said.

"And to our North Korean friends, I can't say the word friend yet".

Some officials in the State and Defense Departments and in USA intelligence agencies are anxious that Trump has put himself at a disadvantage by overstating the results of the Singapore summit.

"The North Koreans ... understand that President Trump needs a win; he needs to have a good story coming out of his high-risk diplomacy with North Korea going into his delicate and maybe-highly charged negotiations with the Europeans and the Russians next week", she added.

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The rhetoric issued by North Korea following the Pompeo meetings showed a return to sharp, provocative language, dangling the possibility of war if the USA continued to make demands.

"The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize the work that we have achieved", he said.

Mr Pompeo said Vietnam's experience since the normalisation of relations with the USA in 1995 should be proof for North Korea that prosperity and partnership with the United States is possible after decades of conflict and mistrust. State department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting with Kim had been planned.

"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake", Trump wrote.

"The North Koreans have certainly made their stance clear - denuclearisation is part of a much bigger overall package that includes peace and its security concerns", said Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. "If I paid attention to the press, I'd go nuts and I refuse to do that".

Pompeo sought to dispel suggestions that the Trump administration has backed down from demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North's nuclear weapons.

The statement included a personal appeal to the U.S. president: "We still cherish our good faith in President Trump", it said.

At the beginning of the meeting, Kim Yong Chol said both sides held "a very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday".

The criticism, published on North Korea's government-run Uriminzokkiri website, said Washington should stop provoking the North with an "anachronistic human rights racket' at a time of diplomatic attempts to improve ties".

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