North Korea lashes out at USA, calls talks 'extremely regrettable'

Elias Hubbard
July 9, 2018

Speaking in Tokyo after meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, Pompeo said Sunday that denuclearization will be hard and that much work remains.

Pompeo said in Tokyo that the US and its allies remain committed to the goal of a fully verified, final denuclearization of North Korea.

It says the outcome of the talks was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearisation that had been firm".

"There will be a verification connected to the complete denuclearization, that's what President Trump and Chairman Kim both agreed to", he said.

Mr Pompeo said Vietnam's experience since the normalisation of relations with the U.S. in 1995 should be proof for North Korea that prosperity and partnership with the USA is possible after decades of conflict and mistrust.

"The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization", the statement said, adding that the American attitude toward the talks had been "regrettable". "But expectation and hope of ours were so naive as to be foolish", read the statement.

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.

"I would like to pay my tribute to the strong leadership you have demonstrated in negotiating with North Korea", Abe told Pompeo.

By analyzing the results of Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang, Japanese officials are trying to gauge how seriously North Korea is committing itself to the "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" as agreed in the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore.

Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, says North Korea could dismantle its nuclear arsenal within a year, but other USA officials have said they hope it can be accomplished by the end of Trump's first term in the White House, in January 2021.

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

While insisting again that the talks were moving forwards, he stressed that nothing had happened to merit a relaxation of the tough sanctions imposed on the North over its nuclear missile programme. Rather than announcing any concrete achievements, the most Pompeo seemed able to deliver on Saturday was the promise of more talks.

It could move by one day or two where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains.

His comments followed two days of frosty talks in Pyongyang aimed at persuading Kim to give up nuclear weapons, which prompted North Korean accusations he had used "gangster-like" diplomacy. 'While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the easing of the sanctions regime, ' he said. He and Kim Yong Chol met for almost three hours Friday and then had dinner.

Pompeo said he did not meet Kim on his latest visit to Pyongyang, as he had done twice before, and he had not anticipated doing so. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting had been planned. If not, his high-stakes North Korea gambit could join a long list of failed nuclear deals with Pyongyang. He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realise economic benefits in return. If I paid attention to what the press said, I'd go nuts, and I refuse to do that.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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