ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

North Korea Calls Talks 'Regrettable' After U.S. Says Progress Was Made

08 July 2018, 10:25 | Erica Roy

It is Mr Pompeo's third trip to Pyongyang Credit AP

It is Mr Pompeo's third trip to Pyongyang

There are signs that North Korea has been expanding some missile manufacturing sites. The trip was Pompeo's third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit. And, the promised remains have yet to be delivered.

"Some places, [we've made] a great deal of progress", Pompeo said.

In practical terms, Pompeo mentioned only that officials from both sides would meet on July 12 to discuss the repatriation of the remains of some U.S. soldiers killed during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

But just before Pompeo's arrival, the North's state-run media lobbed a warning shot at Washington over its criticism of the North's human rights record.

"The US side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearisation", a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

North Korea has described high-level talks with a USA delegation led by secretary of state Mike Pompeo as "regrettable", as it accused Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons. "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.

The spokesman, apparently rejecting the USA demand, reiterated Pyongyang's call for a "phased" and "synchronous" approach, saying that it would be the fastest way to denuclearize.

Many experts doubt Kim's sincerity - a nuclear deterrent to the United States military forces massed in South Korea has always been a strategic goal of his isolated, autocratic regime - and few expect this to be a quick process, even if Washington wants results within a year.

Pompeo's talks will be closely watched in the region.

A key aim of Mr Pompeo during his visit was to firm up North Korea's commitment to disarmament. Kim responded that "there are things that I have to clarify as well".

Pompeo's visit to North Korea forced the United States to postpone a planned meeting of us and Indian defense and foreign ministers, so expectations were high among Japanese and South Korean officials that Pompeo would meet with Kim Jong Un during the two-day visit.

He said Pompeo's delegation insisted on unilateral complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation, known as CVID.

He also acknowledged that the road ahead would be hard, but said that North Korea did reaffirm its commitment to denuclearize.

Both were intended for North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un. "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". John Bolton, his national security adviser, who is reportedly deeply skeptical of North Korean intentions, applied more pressure last Sunday by predicting, unhelpfully, that Pompeo could even conclude a nuclear deal in a year if the North were willing.

"There is no - no one walked away from that, they're still equally committed, Chairman Kim is. still committed", he said.

"I am determined to achieve the commitment that President Trump made".

As Mr. Pompeo departed Pyongyang, he told reporter that the talks achieved progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in the talks, including on setting a timeline for its denuclearisation, though more work remained to be done. "Other places, there's still more work to be done".

He added that talks would be held soon on the destruction of North Korea's missile engine testing facility.

Secretary of State Pompeo on Friday also said his visit would see him seek to flesh out the DPRK-U.S. joint agreement, explaining that "consolation has continued" since the June meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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