Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Exactly What Did North Korea Call US Demands for Denuclearization?

Exactly What Did North Korea Call US Demands for Denuclearization?

The secretary of state also said that despite a critical statement released by North Korea's Foreign Ministry on Saturday night, he thought the two sides had made progress during the meeting and that his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, negotiated in "good faith" during the meeting. He said the discussions, which ended without Pompeo meeting Kim Jong Un, were "productive" and resulted in "a great deal of progress".

Pompeo offered a different view on the discussions when he talked to reporters on Saturday.

The North Korean statement, carried by the official KCNA news agency, said the United States had gone against the spirit of the summit by putting unilateral pressure on the country to abandon its nuclear weapons.

The North Korean official added that this is a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm".

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that U.S. and North Korean officials had set up working groups to deal with "nitty gritty stuff", including verification of efforts to achieve denuclearization, which would be headed on the U.S. side by Sung Kim, a Korean-American who is also ambassador to the Philippines.

Pompeo said that a Pentagon team would be meeting with North Korean officials on or about July 12 at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains and that working level talks would be held soon on the destruction of North Korea's missile engine testing facility. "But expectation and hope of ours were so naive as to be foolish", read the statement. Pompeo is on a trip traveling to North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Abu Dhabi, and Brussels. Pompeo did not meet with the North Korean leader during his visit and did not secure a shared understanding of the path to denuclearization.

The North's statement, coming so soon after Pompeo's trip, was sure to fuel growing skepticism in the USA over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.

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Pompeo, who is on his third visit to Pyongyang, began his diplomatic outreach to North Korea when he was still Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director and remained the pointman on negotiations after the process became public and he became secretary of state.

Update at 2000 KST: This article has been amended with the latest developments on Pompeo's visit North Korean and USA officials held a second day of meetings in Pyongyang on Saturday, with both sides saying there several key issues they need to "clarify". And that process will begin to develop over the days that followed.

It is the USA secretary of State's first visit to the country since the meeting with President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

"So thinking about those discussions, you might have not slept well last night", Kim said.

"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", Kim said. Amid speculation that Pompeo was forced to sideline the India meeting at Trump's insistence, many commentators have criticized what they see as a snub to New Delhi.

Talks with North Korea, the main reason why the Trump administration ditched a high-level dialogue with India on July 6 doesn't seem to have panned out very well for Washington.

"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", he said, according to a pool report from United States journalists who accompanied him to North Korea.

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