US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday brushed aside North Korea's accusation of "gangster-like" demands, maintaining that his third visit to the country was producing results but vowing that sanctions would remain until Pyongyang follows through on leader Kim Jong Un's pledge to get rid of his nuclear weapons.
Devin, just hours after Pompeo wrapped up his third visit to the North, Pyongyang released a statement from an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesperson on its state-run media Korea Central News Agency, slamming the US for what he called their "gangster-like" unilateral demands.
After the Singapore summit, which also saw the U.S. offer "security guarantees" to North Korea and promise to end its military drills with South Korea, Mr Trump claimed that the North no longer posed a nuclear threat.
The Associated Press reported that, mere hours after Pompeo departed North Korea following two days of talks, Pyongyang issued a scathing statement Saturday calling the talks "regrettable" and "extremely worrisome".
"However, the attitude of the United States in the first high-level talks held on the 6th and 7th were indeed regrettable". "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.
However, he emphasized that the North still has trust in the US President, apparently hinting that Pyongyang wanted to keep the ongoing denuclearization talks on track.
"I know my counterpart [Kim Yong-choi] spoke with Chairman Kim during the course of our negotiations as well".
North Korea had hoped to pursue a "balanced implementation" of the goals agreed to in the Kim-Trump joint statement, but the US put forward a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization" without referring to North Korea's goal of establishing a "peace guarantee" on the Korean Peninsula, the statement said.
But Ji-won the North Koreans seem to have taken a different view, to say the least, about that meeting. And, he and other US 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.
Pompeo will hold three-way talks with Kono and South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha in Japan later on Sunday.
The meetings were meant to hammer out details toward achieving the goals in a joint statement by Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump after their summit, in which the US would provide security commitments for North Korea in exchange for "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".
"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", Kim said, through a translator. Both were intended for North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un.
Saturday saw Nauert say discussions had also involved the issue of the repatriation of US service members who died during the Korean War.
"The North Koreans. understand that President Trump needs a win; he needs to have a good story coming out of his high-risk diplomacy with North Korea going into his delicate and maybe-highly charged negotiations with the Europeans and the Russians next week", she added. He was in North Korea for two days and suggested things were moving in a positive direction.
Mr. Pompeo entered the talks determined to put some meat on the bone of the Singapore agreement, such as getting a full inventory of Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal and a process for verifying the dismantling.
Speaking as Pompeo arrived in Tokyo, Nauert told reporters that the only thing Pompeo had left in Pyongyang was a letter to the North Korean leader from President Donald Trump.
Pompeo, who was on his third visit 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.
Pompeo said they made progress on what the modalities would look like for the destruction of that facility. Since returning from Singapore, Trump has declared the North Korean nuclear threat over, even though the country's leaders promised nothing in a joint declaration signed by Kim and Trump that they hadn't agreed to many times before.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thought the two-day discussions were "very productive" while a North Korean spokesperson has labeled them "regrettable".