After Pyongyang put-down, Pompeo stands by 'difficult' denuclearisation talks

Pauline Gross
July 9, 2018

Speaking in a tweet on Saturday, the Morning Joe host shared an article from The Washington Post that said North Korea had referred to the U.S.as "gangster like" in comparison to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's assessment that his two-day talks were "productive".

While Pompeo offered a relatively positive assessment of his meetings, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and Kim by making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on "CVID", or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

Two days of talks with senior North Korean officials had 'made progress, ' he said, and included a 'detailed and substantive discussion about the next steps'.

No sooner had Pompeo left when Kim's media published a statement saying the US's "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearisation" risked upending ties less than a month after Trump and Kim shook hands in Singapore.

However, the president has since renewed sanctions on North Korea, while USA intelligence officials have said there is evidence North Korea continues to upgrade the infrastructure for its nuclear and missile programmes.

He added, North Korea has agreed to continue talks on dismantling nuclear facilities, and the repatriation of the remains of USA soldiers killed during the Korean war.

Some U.S. experts said the disputes highlight the risk of Trump granting premature concessions to North Korea.

President Donald Trump was accused of forcing the North Korea summit "for headlines" by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

So it came as some surprise when North Korea's state news agency fired out a late-night missive blasting the talks, warning that "we may be shaken in our unshakeable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust".

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged North Korea on Sunday to replicate Vietnam in forging a new relationship with the United States, much like Hanoi has done five decades after the Vietnam War against the U.S. ended.

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster, because there was a unanimous decision at the UN Security Council about what needs to be achieved", he added. "When we spoke to them about the scope of denuclearisation, they did not push back", he said.

The model of trying to defeat the USA in a war clearly isn't meant to be what North Korea takes from this. He said he is "hopeful" there will be a "path forward" in negotiations with North Korea. It wasn't my language, it was the language of Chairman Kim, he committed to complete denuclearisation. The White House said before the trip that he would meet Kim.

North Korea's statement bashed hopes for a quick deal and is sure to fuel growing skepticism in the US over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.

Professor Yang Moo-Jin at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul said Pyongyang's criticism was aimed at driving a wedge between Trump and his top officials.

Pompeo said he had pushed North Korea on a promise to destroy a missile engine test site.

"However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable", the spokesman said.

Officials from the two sides would meet next week in Panmunjom, on the border between the two Koreas, to discuss the return of the remains of roughly 7,000 United States soldiers missing since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Other reports by GizPress

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