Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Pompeo brushes off North Korea's "gangster" comments after talks in Pyongyang

Pompeo brushes off North Korea's

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

The US and North Korea sharply diverged after two days of talks, with Pyongyang terming the US position on denuclearisation during meetings with Mike Pompeo "extremely regrettable", hours after the secretary of state cited progress on central issues.

On his way home from Singapore, Trump declared that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat to the US.

But while Pompeo on Saturday painted a positive picture of the follow-up talks, North Korean officials accused the USA of trying to unilaterally pressure their country into abandoning its nuclear programme.

"These are complicated issues, but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues", Pompeo said before boarding a plane to depart North Korea, according to a pool report.

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"The delegation is to take part in the first DPRK-U.S. high-level talks for implementing the joint statement adopted and made public at the DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks", KCNA said in an English-language report. "Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish".

North Korea is planning to hold a summit with the US or multilateral negotiations with the US, South Korea and China through the remaining months of this year and next year, Kyodo said, adding that Geneva was a likely candidate to host the bilateral summit.

And he said some progress had been made towards agreeing "the modalities" of North Korea's destruction of a missile facility.

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster", said Pompeo, noting that US demands for North Korea to denuclearize were supported by a consensus at the U.N. Security Council. -North Korea talks, as both sides were coming to the table with fundamentally different views of what they were bargaining with. "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", said Pompeo, according to a pool report from USA reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang.

Earlier reports pointed to progress being made between the two countries, with commitments for new discussions on denuclearisation and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

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However, asked about the apparent atmosphere at the talks, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told NBC: "There's a lot of hard work to be done".

"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", Kim said, through a translator. "The choice now lies with North Korea and its people".

Saturday saw Nauert say discussions had also involved the issue of the repatriation of USA service members who died during the Korean War. Rather than announcing any concrete achievements, the most Pompeo seemed able to deliver on Saturday was the promise of more talks.

Pompeo also insisted that Pyongyang was committed to broad denuclearisation and said that while some security guarantees could be on the table during the process, sanctions relief would not be. Kim ended Pompeo's visit on a positive note, telling the top United States diplomat just before he boarded his plane, "We will produce an outcome, results".

He said North Korea understood that denuclearisation must be "fully verified" and "final".

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But talks were expected to continue at a large guest villa in an official compound in Pyongyang, a short distance from the imposing mausoleum where North Korea's former helmsmen, Kim's grandfather and father, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie in state.

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