Trump says he’s still confident Kim will denuclearize

Pauline Gross
July 10, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shot back against North Korea on Sunday, saying the regime's criticism that USA negotiators acted in a "gangster-like" way during his two-day visit to Pyongyang was unfounded.

The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea on Sunday reaffirmed their unity in urging North Korea to denuclearize as promised, despite Pyongyang accusing Washington of making unilateral and "gangster-like" demands.

US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo did not meet Kim, as he had done on his two previous visits to North Korea this year, but handed over a letter to him from Trump.

His rosy outlook was nearly immediately rejected by North Korea's foreign ministry, which called the USA attitude to the talks "regrettable" and accused the United States of making unilateral demands for denuclearization.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delivered a dose of harsh reality to Donald Trump, bashing hopes for a quick denuclearization deal in a pointed rebuke to the president's top envoy while accusing the USA of making "gangster-like" demands.

It is the first time he has visited North Korea since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Secretary Pompeo is expected to continue meeting with his North Korean counterpart throughout Saturday. "China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!"

Pyongyang noted that it had already destroyed a nuclear test site - a concession that Trump has already publicly hailed as a victory for peace - and lamented that Pompeo had proved unwilling to match this with U.S. concessions.

Kim, 55, who defected to the South with his family in 2002, said Kim Jong Un has increased the number of special economic zones more than five-fold to 27 since succeeding his father as North Korea's leader in 2011.

"These are complicated issues, but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues", Pompeo said. The pledge to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" was listed third.

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There was no immediate explanation of what needed to be clarified, but the two sides have been struggling to specify what exactly "denuclearisation" would entail and how it could be verified to the satisfaction of the United States.

In recent days, intelligence reports have shown that North Korea is continuing work at a key rocket-engine facility.

She and her husband made their way to Mongolia before defecting to South Korea with their two sons.

China is North Korea's biggest trading partner.

The "fastest way" to achieve a nuclear-free Korean peninsula was through a phased approach under which both sides took steps at the same time, KCNA said in a statement, citing an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman.

"But I am also very skeptical that he will", Gaffney says of this peace effort. Roy Blunt said Sunday in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Speculation has been rife that the US might have tempered its demand on the North - having recently started calling for "the final, fully verified denuclearization (FFVD)" of North Korea instead of CVID, a key phrase jointly used by the United States, South Korea and Japan.

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 USA soldiers missing since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

As Saturday's meeting got under way Kim Yong-chol joked that Mr Pompeo may not have slept well during his overnight stay at a guesthouse in Pyongyang.

Pompeo went to Pyongyang with a letter for Kim Jong Un from Mr. Trump.

Other reports by GizPress

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