North Korea: Talks with Pompeo 'regrettable'

Trump reportedly raised the idea in August 2017 during a meeting about sanctions the United States has imposed on oil rich Venezuela

North Korea has accused the USA of undermining the spirit of last month's summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un after what it says were "regrettable" talks with a delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

As Pompeo departed Pyongyang, he said he had made progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in the talks, though more work remained to be done. Some places, a great deal of progress.

But the North provided a much harsher assessment of the talks, saying the United States had betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un by making "one-sided and robber-like" demands on "CVID" - the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea.

"We were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", an unnamed spokesperson of the North's foreign ministry said in a statement published by the official Korean Central News Agency.

"The attitude and demands from the United States side during the high-level talks were nothing short of deeply regrettable", a spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Kim Jong-un has promised to work towards denuclearisation, but details on how this will be achieved remain thin. Pompeo spoke with Trump, Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly on Saturday before his second round of meetings with Kim Yong Chol.

"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", Kim said. Mike Pompeo is also expected to bring up the repatriation of the remains of Americans who died in the Korean War in the 1950s, in addition to denuclearisation issues.

After spending his first night in the North Korean capital in three visits so far this year, Pompeo left the government guest house where he spent the night to make a secure phone call to U.S. President Donald Trump to provide an update on the talks.

According to the New York Times, Pompeo has said that one goal of the talks is to determine whether the North Koreans are honest about denuclearization, while privately conceding to some colleagues that he considers the talks to be doomed.




While 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 President Donald Trump met with Kim Jong-un in Singapore last month, is a facade and it has no intention of giving up its weapons. The gift may have also suggested to some that Kim had a sense of humor about himself, despite his stern appearances in North Korean state media.

The North Korean statement came in stark comparison to the hopeful words Pompeo had given reporters before boarding his plane to Tokyo, and appear to represent a setback to the process initiated between Kim and Trump last month. Also, leaked US intelligence findings concluded North Korea does not intend to completely give up its nuclear program.

The display of small talk between North Korean and US officials, a rarity given the infrequent contacts between the longtime adversaries, revealed both the tension at the heart of the nuclear negotiations and the increasing familiarity of the two men who have become diplomatic counterparts during Pompeo's three visits to Pyongyang and Kim's visit to New York City in May.

Both men said they needed to "clarify" certain elements of their previous discussions, but provided no detail.

The trip was Pompeo's third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit.

Mr. Pompeo entered the talks determined to put some meat on the bone of the Singapore agreement, such as getting a full inventory of Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal and a process for verifying the dismantling.

On Friday, Pompeo held almost three hours of talks with Kim Yong Chol and a working dinner that Nauert described as further "relationship building".

Before events in Pyongyang had concluded, Ms Nauert told reporters that Mr Pompeo had been "very firm" in insisting that North Korea fulfils its commitment to "complete denuclearisation".

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