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08 July 2018, 05:43 | Erica Roy
Tension on display as US delegation meets with North Korea for second day
The comments are a setback for Pompeo, who had hoped that he could had off future negotiations to working groups settled on by the two sides at the latest meeting.
There had also been worrying signs even before the Pompeo trip.
Although he met Friday with Kim Yong Chol, the vice chairman of the country's Party Central Committee, Pompeo did not meet with Kim on his trip to Pyongyang.
"Director Kim I slept just fine", Secretary Pompeo said.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that the U.S. remains "very firm" in its stance that three basic goals be met: complete denuclearisation of North Korea, security assurances, and the repatriation of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean war.
On the destruction of the missile engine plant, he said: 'We talked about what the modalities would look like for the destruction of that facility as well, and some progress there as well, and then we have laid out a path for further negotiation at the working level so the two teams can get together and continue these discussions'.
All along, however, experts had wondered how the U.S. and North Korea would bridge differences that have bedeviled their talks for decades and only seemed exacerbated under Trump.
The isolated nation might now waver in its "firm, steadfast" resolution to give up its nuclear program, it said.
Amid increasing scrutiny of North Korea's commitment to giving up its weapons, the Secretary of State had visited the country in a bid to hammer out the details of a denuclearization plan.
Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, a top adviser to the country's leader and a former spy chief, exchanged pleasantries Saturday after having had a cordial and relaxed meeting Friday night, but the USA secretary of state didn't seem pleased with Kim's forwardness.
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. It's going to harm the president publicly from a repetitional standpoint, if it becomes clear that North Koreans are enhancing their nuclear program, and never meant to denuclearize.
"North Korea expected Pompeo to bring a concrete proposal for security guarantee but it was disappointed as the U.S. side reiterated the old demand that the North should denuclearise first before the USA gives it anything in return".
The statement from Pyongyang Saturday raises significant questions about North Korea's commitment to denuclearize - something Trump suggested was a done deal.
Pompeo's talks will be closely watched in the region.
But fissures have emerged in the United States stance. "Our policy toward North Korea has not changed, we're committed to a denuclearized North Korea". Yet Pompeo himself had earlier said he envisioned that occurring in about two 1/2 years, by the end of Trump's term. "He didn't leave anything behind other than a letter", Nauert said.
When asked about the tension between the two, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said, "There's a lot of hard work to be done". "We now have a meeting set up for July 12 - it could move by one day or two - where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains", he said.
"Our expectation is exactly what the president and Kim Jong-un jointly agreed to in Singapore, and that is the denuclearization of North Korea", Nauert said, adding that "progress" toward that goal had been made.
Mr. Trump hailed this as a successful resolution of the crisis, but the short joint statement was not a detailed roadmap to disarmament and it fell to Mr. Pompeo to follow up and put meat on the bones of the sparse commitment.
Mr Kim has promised to work towards denuclearisation, but details on how this will be achieved remain thin.
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