Mike Pompeo dismisses North Korea's 'gangster' comments, says talks are going well

10 July, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo right and Kim Yong Chol left a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief return to discussions after a break at Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang North Korea

But after two days of theatrical amity in Pyongyang it appeared to mark a return to the North's traditional hardline position.

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

"We had expected that the United States side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit. we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", said the statement, released by an unnamed spokesman and carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

However, he did not go into detail about what was actually achieved during his latest stay in Pyongyang.

The next line of the more than 1 200-word statement may have captured the central complaint: "The US side never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, which is essential for defusing tension and preventing a war", an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman said.

"We thought that the US side would come with a constructive proposal which accords with the spirit of the DPRK-US summit meeting and talks", it added. "But this expectation and hope of ours were so naive as to be gullible".

Pompeo has characterized the broader North Korean reaction to this weekend's talks as "mixed", telling reporters Monday that more positive statements out of Pyongyang have not received the same coverage that the negative statement has.

The statement was sure to fuel growing skepticism in the USA and elsewhere over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.

Pompeo said on Sunday that, on the heels of those talks, Trump believed North Korea could replicate the path taken by Vietnam, whose leaders had realized their country could reform and build relationships without threatening its sovereignty and form of government.

Pompeo said the two sides agreed to hold discussions on July 12 on the repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, and also discussed "modalities" for the destruction of a missile engine testing facility.

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Mr Pompeo's meeting with Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Taro Kono, and South Korean Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, followed Mr Pompeo's two days of talks in Pyongyang that ended on Saturday.

"North Korea reaffirmed its commitment to complete denuclearization", he said on Sunday during a visit to Japan.

Trump hailed this as a successful resolution of the crisis.

"If they are able to do this, they will be remembered, and Chairman Kim will be remembered, as a hero of the Korean people".

Pompeo spoke after North Korea said the talks "brought us in a unsafe situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust".

Speaking to Fox News, Graham said that the ongoing trade war between the USA and China is the major reason for the pushback by Pyongyang.

The lawmaker's comments come one-day after North Korea criticized the USA for their push for denuclearization.

"This is not to break the talks". He further said he got no apparent push-back during the talks themselves.

Pompeo acknowledged at a news conference in Tokyo on Sunday that a peace treaty, security assurances for North Korea and denuclearization should be pursued in parallel, but it's the last item that has been the clear focus of United States efforts and its overriding goal: The elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons in a way that can be verified by outside experts.

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