Sunday, 20 January, 2019

North Korea says United States are like 'gangsters' after 'regrettable' nuclear talks

Mike Pompeo seeks clarity in denuclearization talks with North Korea North Korea says United States are like 'gangsters' after 'regrettable' nuclear talks
Melinda Barton | 09 July, 2018, 16:57

Pompeo said on Sunday that, on the heels of those talks, Trump believed North Korea could replicate the path taken by Vietnam, whose leaders had realized their country could reform and build relationships without threatening its sovereignty and form of government.

Mr Pompeo said in Tokyo there was still a lot of work to do but he was confident North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would stick to a commitment to abandon nuclear weapons that he made during a summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore last month.

"We thought that the U.S. side would come with a constructive proposal which accords with the spirit of the DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks".

In Vietnam, Pompeo was looking for increased cooperation from Hanoi on enforcing sanctions on North Korea, which he said would not be lifted until it fully dismantled its nuclear weapons program in a transparent and verifiable way.

North Korea expressed regret on Saturday over the attitude of U.S. negotiators during talks to work out details on how to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula as agreed to by their leaders in their recent summit meeting.

After two days of talks with senior officials, he said efforts to push Pyongyang towards abandoning nuclear weapons had worldwide backing.

In a statement released by an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman, Pyongyang accused the United States of betraying the spirit of last month's summit between Donald Trump and Kim by making "one-sided and robber-like" demands on "CVID" - the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea.

South Korea's Kang said her country did not believe the United States had softened its demands on Pyongyang, as some USA officials and analysts have suggested. He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realise economic benefits in return.

The ministers stressed the need to call on North Korea to take concrete steps toward denuclearization and to keep existing United Nations economic sanctions in place.

He said before leaving for Pyongyang he was seeking to "fill in" details on North Korea's commitments and maintain the momentum towards implementing the Singapore agreement between Trump and Kim. And, he and other USA officials said the two countries, still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War, had set up working groups to deal with details of an agreement. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting had been planned.

However, in the days following the June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump had already announced the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.

Mr Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Friday for a two-day visit - his third trip to the isolated state since taking the secretary of state job in April.

Pompeo downplayed North Korea's accusation that the US had made "gangster-like" demands that it abandon its nuclear program and that their talks were "regrettable".

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter there was a danger of military action because Trump might now claim he had tried diplomacy but was betrayed by Kim. "This is the same issue that the United States faces today with Chairman Kim, where new ties with America combined with the industriousness of the Vietnamese people and sound leadership has made Vietnam an incredible success story today".

Pompeo, who has now made three visits to Pyongyang, began the outreach when he was still Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director and remained the pointman on negotiations after the process became public and he became secretary of state.