Sanctions to remain until North Korea 'final' denuclearisation: Mike Pompeo

09 July, 2018, 06:17 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • REUTERS  Joshua Roberts

Pompeo downplayed North Korea's accusation that the US had made "gangster-like" demands that it abandon its nuclear program and that their talks were "regrettable".

His comments followed two days of frosty talks in Pyongyang aimed at persuading Kim to give up nuclear weapons, which prompted North Korean accusations he had used "gangster-like" diplomacy.

Pompeo said that in past two decades, USA bilateral trade with Vietnam had grown 8,000 percent, and American companies had poured in billions of dollars of investments. 'If I paid attention to the press, I'd go nuts'.

(L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korea's Foreign Minsiter Kang Kyung-wha in Tokyo.

Before arriving in North Korea, Pompeo said he was seeking to "fill in" some details on North Korea's commitments and maintain the momentum toward implementing the agreement from the summit.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo had been "very firm" on three basic goals: complete denuclearisation of North Korea, security assurances and repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War. He said North Korea understood that denuclearization must be "fully verified" and "final".

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Both issues are considered essential tests of whether Kim is serious about talks.

While insisting again that the talks were moving forwards, he stressed that nothing had happened to merit a relaxation of the tough sanctions imposed on the North over its nuclear missile programme.

Trump raised the issue when he met with Kim in Singapore and Pompeo also talked about it during his latest visit to Pyongyang.

In South Korea, where President Moon Jae-in has emerged as a key facilitator of U.S. And, the promised remains have yet to be delivered.

North Korea has called high-level talks with a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "extremely regrettable", contradicting Washington's account of how the meeting in Pyongyang went. Pyongyang said the U.S. had betrayed the spirit of the summit by making "one-sided and robber-like" demands on the denuclearisation of North Korea.

However, it said that it could not help but feel regret about the attitude and stance the US had. "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.

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"And to our North Korean friends, I can't say the word friend yet".

Pyongyang noted that it had already destroyed a nuclear test site - a concession that Trump has publicly hailed as a victory for peace - and lamented that Pompeo had proved unwilling to match this with U.S. concessions.

Pompeo was asked about the CD earlier by a journalist accompanying him to North Korea; the secretary of state laughed but did not confirm or deny the report.

Pompeo and Kim met for almost three hours Friday and then had dinner amid growing skepticism over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his summit with Trump into concrete action.

In fact, near the end of the statement, KCNA quoted the spokesman as saying "we still cherish our good faith in President Trump".

However, the statement also appeared to separate North Korea's annoyance with the USA from its relationship with Trump himself. "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".

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