US Demand Of Irreversible Denuclearisation "Troubling", Says North Korea
07 July, 2018, 20:14 | Author: Sheila Harris
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Saturday that two days of talks with his North Korean counterpart on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal had been "very productive".
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, for a second day of talks at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, on July 7, 2018.
While Mr Pompeo hailed progress from the talks, the results he announced on Saturday will do little to quell unease that North Korea's commitment to denuclearisation, made when Mr Trump met with Mr Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month, is a facade and it has no intention of giving up its weapons.
However, the North said the outcome of the talks was "very concerning" as it had led to a unsafe phase which might rattle the country's "willingness for denuclearisation that had been firm".
"I'm not going to get into the details of our conversations but we spent a good deal of our time talking about each of those two things and I think we made progress in every element of our discussion", Pompeo told reporters. He stressed that "there's still more work to be done" in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides have set up to deal with specific issues.
Mr Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol 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 June 12 summit with Trump into concrete action.
On the contrary, North Korea does not yet appear to have dismantled the nuclear test site Trump implied they were already "destroying" and appears to be ramping up one of its nuclear production facilities in the wake of the meeting.
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Pompeo replied: "Director Kim, I slept just fine".
"Particularly, they have suggested that they are disappointed by the United States insistence on focusing on the denuclearisation plans over what they described as big-picture issues", she said.
Despite the obstacles, Pompeo said on Saturday that progress had been made in the talks."These are complicated issues but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues", Mr. Pompeo said before departing on Saturday. "Our expectation is exactly what the president and Kim Jong Un jointly agreed to in Singapore, and that is the denuclearisation of North Korea".
Kim did not comment on the issue of denuclearization, saying only that there "are things I have to clarify". Spokesperson Heather Nauert did say that Pompeo left a letter from Trump to Kim, but denied reports that he had also taken a CD of Elton John's "Rocket Man" with him.
Last month, Kim and Trump met in Singapore and signed a statement committing Pyongyang to "work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" in exchange for U.S. "security guarantees" and peace in the decades-old stand-off.
"We had anticipated the USA side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return", the North Korean spokesperson said.
While Pyongyang had hoped the United States would "come up with constructive measures to help build confidence" and sought "balanced implementation" of the June 12 DPRK-U.S. agreement, it continued, the American negotiators had demanded unilateral nuclear disarmament.
Kim Yong Chol said at the start of the meeting the two had "very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday". It is the first time that Mr Pompeo has visited North Korea since Kim Jong-un's summit with US President Donald Trump .
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