Sanctions to remain until North Korea 'final' denuclearisation: Mike Pompeo

Pauline Gross
July 8, 2018

In an unexpectedly negative statement on Saturday, Pyongyang said that America had betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim.

The spokesman said that the first high-level talks between the two countries following the summit have failed to consolidate mutual trust, only to risk undermining the North's commitment to denuclearization.

"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", he said, according to a pool report from usa reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang. Kim Yong Chol ended Pompeo's visit on a positive note, telling the top U.S. diplomat just before he boarded his plane, "We will produce an outcome, results". Trump has declared on Twitter that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat.

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

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.

But despite the very negtive views about the meeting, . the statement was careful about criticizing President Trump, and said that they still cherish their good faith in him.

Washington's top diplomat faced an intense day of negotiations with his North Korean counterpart Saturday as the old foes strive to flesh out a tentative nuclear disarmament plan.

North Korea has branded the USA attitude at the latest talks over its nuclear programme "regrettable" and "extremely troubling".

"These are complicated issues, but we made progress on nearly all the central issues", he said, according to pool reports from journalists who traveled with the secretary. Yet Pompeo himself had earlier said he envisioned that occurring in about two and a half years, by the end of Trump's term, and Nauert later said the USA wasn't putting a timeline on the process.

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However, in another twist of approach towards Kim - who Trump once called "Little Rocket Man" - the USA administration renewed its sanctions on North Korea for another year.

Pompeo said both the testing facility issue and recovering USA remains still need to be finalized.

The U.S. delegation, led by Pompeo, included U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and Head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center Andrew Kim.

Defcon security experts said North Korea's destruction of its nuclear facility was "superficial" and "insufficient" to destroy the uranium enrichment plant.

As the World Economic Forum holds an annual meeting of world leaders in Davos in January, North Korea may be considering timing the denuclearization talks with the Davos forum, Kyodo said. It could move by one day or two where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains.

Nauert said "progress was made" in the meetings Saturday morning, and Pompeo was expected to have more meetings in the afternoon. State department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting with Kim had been planned.

Just hours after Pompeo arrived in Tokyo, the North blasted the discussions, saying the visit had been 'regrettable'.

Pompeo, accompanied by senior State Department and Central Intelligence Agency officials, held several hours of talks on Friday evening and had a working dinner with Kim Yong Chol at which both were "cracking jokes" and "exchanging pleasantries", according to Nauert.

During the visit, Nauert said, the two sides agreed to set up working groups to deal with the "nitty-gritty stuff", including verification of efforts to achieve denuclearization, but there was no indication that the North Korean working group would be empowered by Kim Jong Un, a necessary ingredient for any progress.

Other reports by GizPress

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