North Korea: Talks With Pompeo Were 'Regrettable' - Timothy Meads

North Korea: Talks With Pompeo Were 'Regrettable' - Timothy Meads

On his third trip to Pyongyang since April and his first since last month's historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pompeo was meeting on Saturday with Kim Yong Chol, a senior ruling party official.

Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met Kim Jong-un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although USA officials had suggested such a meeting was expected.

North Korea has slammed high-level talks led by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as "regrettable" and accused Washington of making "gangster-like" demands.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry statement called on both sides to take simultaneous actions to improve the environment surrounding the talks.

"We still cherish our good faith in President Trump", the statement read.

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Pompeo said the two sides agreed to hold discussions on July 12 on the repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, and also discussed "modalities" for the destruction of a missile engine testing facility.

Nauert's confirmation comes after Pompeo was rather coy about the alleged gift when reporters asked him about it upon arriving to North Korea on Friday. North Korea committed at the summit to the "immediate repatriation" of remains already identified, but that hasn't happened yet.

Just before leaving Pyongyang, ⁦@SecPompeo⁩ gives U.S. reporters a brief readout from his meetings.

Pompeo left North Korea without meeting directly with leader Kim Jong Un, as he has during previous visits.

A former top US diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, said 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.

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The talks between Mr Pompeo and Mr Kim Yong Chol were the first high-level, face-to-face meetings since Mr Trump and Mr Kim Jong Un met last month in Singapore, where they reached an agreement to work toward denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, among other things. Since returning from Singapore, Trump has declared the North Korean nuclear threat over, even though the country's leaders promised nothing in a joint declaration signed by Kim and Trump that they hadn't agreed to many times before. "The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know that critics will try to minimise the work that we've achieved".

Mike Pompeo has shrugged off North Korea's assessment of the latest denuclearisation talks as being "gangster-like".

"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", he added.

"The settlement of the outstanding issues of concern surrounding North Korea, including the nuclear, missile and abduction issues, will be extremely important for Japan and also extremely important for peace and stability in the world", Pompeo told Abe.

In comparison to past global nuclear disarmament negotiations, the discussions between Washington and North Korea on thawing ties and dismantling the North's arsenal appear to be proceeding in reverse.

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Saturday saw Nauert say discussions had also involved the issue of the repatriation of US service members who died during the Korean War. But he also had to assuage anxious Asian allies after Trump said he would be stopping U.S. "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", he said. However, contrary to South Korean media reports, Nauert said Pompeo did not leave Kim a CD with the Elton John song "Rocket Man" - a nickname Trump has used to refer to Kim.

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