Pompeo, Japanese counterpart meet on North Korea

Charlene Craig
July 10, 2018

Pompeo said he had won commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and announced a Thursday meeting between USA and North Korean military officials on the repatriation of the remains.

He claimed that "When we spoke to them about denuclearization, they did not push back" but admitted the "road ahead will be hard and challenging".

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

"So look, people are going to make certain comments after meetings".

"These are complicated issues, but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues", Pompeo said.

His rosy outlook was nearly immediately rejected by North Korea's foreign ministry, which called the US attitude to the talks "regrettable" and accused the United States of making unilateral demands for denuclearization.

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.

"North Korea expected Pompeo to bring a concrete proposal for security guarantee but it was disappointed as the U.S. side reiterated the old demand that the North should denuclearise first before the U.S. gives it anything in return".

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Leaked U.S. intelligence findings have concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear program completely.

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.

"I think it was a pretty bad start to the process, but it doesn't mean it's over yet", said Hill, noting that North Korea talks were tough by nature. But within little more than a week, the meeting was back on, because Trump was so transparently desperate for a foreign policy achievement.

On June 29, NBC News reported that, according to USA intelligence officials, North Korea was increasing production of fuel for nuclear weapons and working to hide its activities from the United States. Roy Blunt said Sunday in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press".

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.

"Kim can afford to play hardball because it's clear to him that Trump, who has already told Americans they can sleep soundly because the threat is now over, badly wants a deal", Russel said. "His dealings with North Korea have been a master class in self-deception".

"No-one walked away from that, they're still equally committed", he said, just hours before the North issues their own, less optimistic, view of the negotiations.

Some analysts and lawmakers have expressed alarm that the talks appear to have run into difficulties, although others see a possible North Korean negotiating ploy. "We're in a fight with China", he said on "Fox News Sunday".

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In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, it carefully avoided attacking Trump personally, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump, ' but stressed that Washington must not allow 'headwinds" against the 'wills of the leaders'.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said there was never an expectation that Pompeo would meet with Kim, although other US government officials previously indicated that was the plan.

"Secretary Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang this time has taken the first steps", she said.

"We thought that the U.S. side would come with a constructive proposal".

The senator's comments come just one day after North Korea's official KCNA news agency released a statement from an unnamed foreign ministry spokesperson which said that "the attitude of the USA was indeed regrettable" during Pompeo's talks with Pyongyang.

Pompeo said he had pushed North Korea on a promise to destroy a missile engine test site.

The United States depends on China to enforce crippling sanctions against North Korea.

"We agreed to the denuclearisation of North Korea", he wrote, despite the fact that the declaration signed by the two leaders refers to the denuclearisation of the "Korean peninsula" - a vague formula that leaves room for various interpretations.

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