Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

North Korea calls denuclearisation talks with U.S. 'regrettable'

World War 3: North Korea warns US attitude is 'highly REGRETTABLE' as tensions soar North Korea Calls U.S. Diplomatic Posture ‘Regrettable’
Ebony Burgess | 09 July, 2018, 06:17

North Korea blasted the USA on Saturday for making what it called "gangster-like" demands in meetings between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Pyongyang officials, calling the attitude and stance of American officials "regrettable".

"We talked about what the North Koreans are continuing to do and how it's the case that we can get our arms around achieving what Chairman Kim and President Trump both agreed to, which is the complete denuclearization of North Korea", he said.

It is the first time he has visited North Korea since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

North Korea on Saturday lashed out at what it called "rapacious" USA demands, just hours after the conclusion of what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had called "productive" talks.

The DPRK felt deep regret over the attitude of the USA delegation led by Pompeo at the high-level talks held Friday and Saturday with DPRK officials, a spokesman of the country's Foreign Ministry said.

'Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish'.

Republican Senator Joni Ernst, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said joint military exercises with South Korea that were suspended to show goodwill towards North Korea should be resumed "soon" if denuclearisation talks sputter.

"We expected that the U.S. side would come with productive measures conducive to building trust in line with the spirit of the North-U.S. summit and (we) considered providing something that would correspond to them", the spokesman said.

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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Pompeo, who is on his third visit to Pyongyang, began his diplomatic outreach to North Korea 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. He said he is "hopeful" there will be a "path forward" in negotiations with North Korea.

"The Kim regime wouldn't want to be seen as if they were somehow being pressured to cave in to the US' demands", he said. He stressed there was still more work to be done in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides had set up to deal with specific issues.

Pompeo reassured Abe he had raised during his two days in North Korea the issue of Japanese people abducted by North Korean agents to train its spies.

And over the weekend, ABC News reported on tensions at the talks, suggesting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Pompeo appeared to have rubbed each other up the wrong way.

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster", Pompeo said, as he noted that the U.N. Security Council has demanded numerous times that the North dispose of its nuclear weapons and end its ballistic missile program.

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

Not even a month ago, Trump was tweeting that the North Korea nuclear problem was all but solved, and that Americans could finally rest easy thanks to his breakthrough in talks with Kim.

Pompeo has bristled at the idea that the Singapore declaration amounted to an empty promise, saying repeatedly that Kim Jong Un had assured him in private conversations he was ready to give up his nuclear arms. Trump said after the Singapore summit that Kim had agreed to send the remains back to the United States.

Pompeo said more talks were needed on both.

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