Secy Of State: Progress Was Made On 'Central Issues' In Pyongyang


North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un had been hopeful that the "good faith" established between himself and U.S. President Donald Trump would hold talks in good stead, but the U.S. had instead insisted on a "unilateral and gangster-like demand" for denuclearization, according to a translated version of the statement published by KCNA Watch, a website that compiles North Korean state media reports.

Speaking alongside his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Pompeo said, "While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the relaxation of the existing sanctions regime".

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.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo had been "very firm" on three basic goals: complete denuclearisation of North Korea, security assurances and repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

She stressed that USA policy hasn't changed, but did not explain why they're not using the phrase "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" - a phrase Pompeo himself used leading up to the historic summit between Kim Jong Un and Trump in Singapore on June 12.

Despite the NBC report and North Korea's statement, Pompeo still claimed the rogue nation is committed to dismantling its nuclear program. "If I paid attention to the press, I'd go nuts".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has dismissed accusations by North Korea that he engaged in "gangster-like" behaviour during a visit there. He stressed that "there's still more work to be done" in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides have set up to deal with specific issues. But ever since the announcement of that summit, experts on North Korea have warned that Kim was very unlikely to give up his nuclear arsenal altogether, since it is his prime source of leverage against the rest of the world.

Mr Pompeo said he did not meet Mr Kim on his latest visit to Pyongyang, as he had done twice before.

That appeared to be a reference to Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, a prominent North Korea hawk who has been vilified by Pyongyang in the past.

"The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize what we have achieved", he said.

Mr. Pompeo said he spent "a good deal of time" discussing a denuclearisation timeline and the declaration of the North's nuclear and missile facilities.

Mr Trump has vowed that North Korea will not be allowed to threaten the United States with its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. "The choice now lies with North Korea and its people".

The official also mentioned that leader Kim Jong-un's letter for Trump was given to Pompeo, saying that he voiced confidence that the trust and friendship built through the Singapore meeting will deepen through talks that the two countries will have going forward.

However, Pompeo said the progress achieved thus far did not warrant any concessions. He is due to meet officials from allies South Korea and Japan in Tokyo also on Sunday.

"These are complicated issues but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues", he told reporters on Saturday on the airport tarmac before leaving Pyongyang, following his third visit to North Korea.

But following talks on Sunday between US envoy Sung Kim and North Korean counterparts, this "CVID" language appears to have disappeared from the State Department lexicon.

As they began their talks on Saturday, Kim Yong Chol alluded to the fact that Pompeo and his delegation had stayed overnight in Pyongyang.