North Korea says Pompeo talks 'regrettable'

08 July, 2018, 09:18 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Mike Pompeo addresses the media before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

Pompeo had dumped a rescheduled bilateral 2+2 dialogue with India, which was to have seen External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman travel to Washington DC for talks with him and Defense Secretary James Mattis, to rush to North Korea, to follow upon Trump's meeting with Kim.

North Korea says high-level talks with a US delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were "regrettable" and has accused Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nukes.

"But through the high-level talks, the trust between the DPRK and the United States is facing a risky situation where our resolve for denuclearisation, which has been firm and steadfast, may falter".

A statement from a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said: "The high-level talks this time brought us in a risky situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearisation, rather than consolidating trust between the DPRK and the U.S".

It comes just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed he had made progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in his talks with Pyongyang.

"So, a very productive conversation about the process by which we will deliver on the commitments that were made in the Singapore summit". "Why should the North Koreans make concessions to one of Trump's aides given the president's record of undercutting them?"

Kim Yong Chol later said that "there are things that I have to clarify" to which Mr Pompeo responded that "there are things that I have to clarify as well".

At the same time, North Korea said it still wants to build on the "friendly relationship and trust" that Trump and Kim created during the Singapore gathering. The countries also agreed to create working groups that will be overseen by Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines who has handled some lower-level discussions, to work out what State Department spokeswoman called the "nitty gritty details" of future talks.

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On his third trip to Pyongyang since April and his first since last month's historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pompeo was meeting on Saturday with Kim Yong Chol, a senior ruling party official.

Earlier rumors during the week stated the State Department's objectives in North Korea had changed and that the Sec. of State may be willing to forgo complete denuclearization. -North Korea talks, as both sides were coming to the table with fundamentally different views of what they were bargaining with.

That change raised suspicion that the U.S. was softening its demands for the country, an argument that State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert had insisted on Friday wasn't true.

The leader's meeting ended with a promise from Mr Kim to work towards denuclearisation, but details on how this will be achieved remain thin.

But fissures have emerged in the United States stance.

Last week, Mr Trump's national security adviser John Bolton said North Korea could be expected to carry out the "bulk" of denuclearisation within a year.

The statement, by an unnamed foreign ministry official, contradicted the version of events given by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just hours before. In practical terms, however, he only mentioned that officials from both sides would meet on July 12 as a working group to discuss the repatriation of the remains of some US soldiers killed during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

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