Monday, 23 July, 2018

North Korea says United States are like 'gangsters' after 'regrettable' nuclear talks

Pompeo is greeted by North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho as he arrives at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang Tension on display as US delegation meets with North Korea for second day
Gerardo Duncan | 09 July, 2018, 06:17

"This really shows the unwavering bond of the Japan-U.S. alliance".

So North Korea is stalling on even the simplest promise made last month. The promised remains have yet to be delivered.

Lindsey Graham on Sunday said he sees "China's hands all over " North Korea's condemning talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as "regrettable" and "gangster-like" because President Trump is engaging Beijing over trade. He said his discussions had been productive and conducted in good faith, but he allowed that much more work needed to be done.

Pompeo also said that there would be a meeting next week about the repatriation of remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War.

While Mr Pompeo on Saturday touted "progress on nearly all of the central issues", the North's Foreign Ministry hours later slammed the United States for its "deeply regrettable" attitude in making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands.

But earlier, in Tokyo, Pompeo said sanctions will remain in place on North Korea "until final, fully verified denuclearization as agreed to by Chairman Kim occurs".

"We had expected that the USA side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders" summit ... we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures, ' the statement said. "But expectation and hope of ours were so naive as to be foolish", read the statement.

"The miracle could be your miracle", Pompeo said of North Korea and its leader.

Pompeo wanted to agree on at least an initial list of nuclear sites and an inventory that could be checked against the available intelligence, USA intelligence officials told Reuters earlier.

During a day and a half of talks in Pyongyang, Pompeo had sought to hammer out details on how to dismantle North Korea's nuclear programs, including a timeline.

North Korea's accusation that Pompeo had made "gangster-like" demands, which came after two days of talks that began in Pyongyang on Friday, contradicted Pompeo's comments on Saturday that he had made progress on "almost all of the central issues".

"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 denuclearisation of North Korea". The countries also agreed to create working groups that will be overseen by Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines who has handled some lower-level discussions, to work out what State Department spokeswoman called the "nitty gritty details" of future talks.

It dismissed Trump's unilateral order to suspend joint United States and South Korean war games as a cosmetic and "highly reversible" measure and criticised United States negotiators who "never mentioned" the subject of bringing the 1953 Korean War to a formal end with a peace treaty.

'If you make the Americans fight for every inch, the Americans will start measuring progress in inches - and will wind up paying by the inch. "If you don't want to have a nuclear-armed North Korea, go have a war with them".

Pompeo, who spoke with Trump, national security adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly by secure phone before starting Saturday's session, replied that he "slept just fine".

But his attitude was apparently not shared by his North Korean counterparts. 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.

He simply said that a good deal of time was devoted to discussing that and the declaration of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile facilities.

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