North Korea calls denuclearisation talks with USA 'regrettable'

Frederick Owens
July 9, 2018

The talks are part of a broader USA initiative to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Nauert said "progress was made" in the meetings Saturday morning, and Pompeo was expected to have more meetings in the afternoon.

The North's Foreign Ministry said the "extremely regrettable" US attitude during the meeting violated the spirit of the agreement reached between Mr. Kim and President Donald Trump last month at their historic summit in Singapore.

It says pressure will remain until North Korea denuclearizes, but in statements this week, it redefined the USA goal as "the final, fully verified denuclearization" of the country.

However, Pompeo said the progress achieved thus far did not warrant any concessions.

The "fastest way" to achieve a nuclear-free Korean peninsula was through a phased approach under which both sides took steps at the same time, KCNA said in a statement, citing an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met North Korean leaders in Pyongyang for two days of talks.

And it did so in stark terms, according to a statement relayed by the KCNA state news agency.

But it said the US had only came up with unilateral demands for denuclearization, . calling for complete, verificable, irreversible denuclearization and verification. all of which, the statement said, run counter to the spirit of the June 12th summit.

Graham also expressed optimism about the release by Turkey of jailed North Carolina evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, whom Graham said he visited in his recent visit to Turkey.

While his talks with North Korean officials were conducted in good faith and they reaffirmed their commitment to abandoning nuclear weapons, he said, the USA sanctions against the nation will remain in place. "These are complicated issues but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues. Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", he said, according to a pool report from United States reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang.

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The statement came hours after Pompeo departed after meetings led by Kim Yong Chol, a senior aide to Kim.

Trump agreed to halt the exercises during his summit with Kim.

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.

He stressed that denuclearisation was a condition for lifting sanctions.

"One thing I wouldn't give up is presence in South Korea or the ability to interact with our South Korean allies", Blunt said.

A former top US diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, told The Associated Press the setback with North Korea was to be expected and warned Trump he is engaged in a long negotiation that would not produce easy, quick, made-for-television results that the president likely wants.

North Korea's latest comments, which came after Pompeo said talks had made progress, are a reminder of the difficulties that previous US administrations have had negotiating with the reclusive Stalinist state and suggest that Pyongyang may not agree to any rapid denuclearisation.

There were also discussions about shutting down a missile engine testing site in the North, something President Donald Trump had said the North promised to do so before.

The conflicting reports come at a tense time for North Korean-U.S. relations. He also discussed the repatriation of the remains of U.S. soldiers missing from the 1950-'53 Korean War.

The spokesman also downplayed the significance of the United States suspending its military exercises with South Korea, saying the North had made a larger concession by blowing up the tunnels at its nuclear test site. We buy $500 billion worth of goods from the Chinese.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed North Korea's accusation of a "gangster-like mindset" in denuclearization talks, saying the two nations had productive conversations that will continue in the days ahead. "There are things that I have to clarify", Kim, who serves as vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said.

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