North Korea slams 'gangster-like' US demands after satisfied Pompeo leaves

The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang North Korea Friday

The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang North Korea Friday

North Korea has slammed high-level talks led by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as "regrettable" and accused Washington of making "gangster-like" demands.

It comes just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed he had made progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in his talks with Pyongyang.

Pompeo said sanctions would remain in place against North Korea, and be enforced "with great vigor", adding that progress alone does not change the sanctions.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brushed off North Korean accusations of "gangster-like" diplomacy during negotiations in Pyongyang, saying on Sunday he will pursue denuclearisation talks after meeting his Japanese and South Korean counterparts.

North Korea's angry reaction to the talks with Pompeo came in a Foreign Ministry statement that berated the Secretary over his "unilateral and gangster-like" demands and for offering no constructive steps on the United States side.

It says pressure will remain until North Korea denuclearizes, but in statements this week, it redefined the US goal as "the final, fully verified denuclearization" of the country. He said his discussions had been productive and conducted in good faith, but he allowed that much more work needed to be done.

"This is a rejection of US demands for unilateral denuclearisation by North Korea, and a clear message that the USA will need to give up more to make progress".

Mr Pompeo's visit represents the highest level meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials since Mr Trump and Mr Kim Jong Un held their unprecedented summit in Singapore on June 12.

In the days following his historic June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, President Donald Trump had announced that the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.

On the contrary, North Korea does not yet appear to have dismantled the nuclear test site Trump implied they were already "destroying" and appears to be ramping up one of its nuclear production facilities in the wake of the meeting. The contrasting comments raised questions over whether North Korea is committed to abandoning the nuclear programs it has developed for decades and has seen as key to its survival.

Not even a month ago, Trump was tweeting that the North Korea nuclear problem was all but solved, and that Americans could finally rest easy thanks to his breakthrough in talks with Kim.

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Pompeo offered a different view on the discussions when he talked to reporters on Saturday. North Korean officials have yet to demonstrate that in working-level talks, the intelligence officials said.

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

It was not clear if Pompeo would be granted an audience with the Northern leader himself as he tries to develop a detailed road-map towards the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula, as agreed by Kim and US President Donald Trump last month.

On the North Korean side, deputy director general for North American affairs at the DPRK foreign ministry Choe Kang Il and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui, among others, accompanied Kim Yong Chol.

On his flight to Pyongyang, Pompeo said both sides made commitments at the Singapore summit on the complete denuclearisation of North Korea and on what a transformed relationship between their two countries might look like.

Meanwhile, North Korea says it disagrees with the USA calls for denuclearization, and called the discussions with Pompeo very concerning.

"We had anticipated the United States side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return", the North Korean statement said, warning its "resolve for denuclearisation. may falter".

"There are things that I have to clarify as well", Pompeo said.

Saturday saw Nauert say discussions had also involved the issue of the repatriation of USA service members who died during the Korean War.

Pompeo has bristled at the idea that the Singapore declaration was an empty promise, saying repeatedly that Kim Jong Un had assured him in private conversations he was ready to give up his nuclear arms.

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