Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump Says He's Still Confident Kim Will Denuclearize

Trump Says He's Still Confident Kim Will Denuclearize

While Pompeo offered a relatively positive assessment of his meetings, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the USA betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and Kim by making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on "CVID", or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster", Pompeo said Sunday after meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Tokyo.

While Pompeo hailed progress from the talks, the results he announced on Saturday will do little to quell unease that North Korea's commitment to denuclearisation, made when President Donald Trump met with Kim Jong-un in Singapore last month, is a facade and it has no intention of giving up its weapons.

"There will be a verification connected to the complete denuclearisation, it's what President Trump and Chairman Kim both agreed to", he added. Trump offered security guarantees to Pyongyang and pledged to suspend the large-scale military drills with South Korea.

"But we did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", said Kim via an interpreter.

North Korea's foreign ministry took exception to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's effort to secure concrete commitments to the promise that Mr Kim made at the summit with Mr Trump.

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North Korea called the outcome of the discussion "worrisome" and argued that the "cancerous issues" the U.S. delegation raised were the same ones that had "amplified" distrust and the risk of war with past administrations, resulting in previous talks ending in failure.

Practically, assuaging Kim's security fears could require risky choices for the U.S. and its North Asian allies, such as rolling back America's nuclear umbrella or pulling back its troops in South Korea. He said North Korea understood that denuclearization must be "fully verified" and "final".

The statement, by an unnamed foreign ministry official, was in sharp contrast with the account given by Mr Pompeo as he left North Korea for Japan just hours before.

Trump's suggestion that China was behind North Korea's tougher stance on denuclearisation talks echoes a comment by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday.

According to Graham, China is using the north to force the USA to negotiate on trade.

"But it's an old plan", said Kim, who teaches North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul and runs a small private economic research firm.

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According to US media reports, Pompeo did not meet Kim during the visit, unlike his previous trips during which he had met with the DPRK's top leader.

Graham cited the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing as the possible motivation.

Asked if he had discussed any timetable or declaration of nuclear and missile facilities in the North, Pompeo only said he discussed a lot of issues with the North Korean officials and that there is "still much work to do to establish a precise time line".

"There's no doubt in my mind that it's the Chinese pulling a North Koreans back", Graham said. "I really believe that he sees a different future for North Korea", Trump told reporters.

South Korea has suspended its summertime civil defence drills aimed at preparing against a North Korean attack to keep alive a positive atmosphere for nuclear diplomacy with the North.

"Dealing with North Korea is hard because Kim Jong Un wants it to be hard", said Russel, who was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration.

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