Pompeo shrugs off North Korea's 'gangster' rebuke

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo second from right greets Kim Yong Chol second from left a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief as they arrive for a meeting at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang North Ko

The promised remains have yet to be delivered.

Even so, the United States envoy yesterday insisted again that he thought the talks were "in good faith and productive". 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.

By analyzing the results of Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang, Japanese officials are trying to gauge how seriously North Korea is committing itself to the "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" as agreed in the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore.

His rosy outlook was nearly immediately rejected by North Korea's foreign ministry, which called the USA attitude to the talks "regrettable" and accused the United States of making unilateral demands for denuclearization.

"We expected that the US side would come with productive measures conducive to building trust in line with the spirit of the North-US summit and (we) considered providing something that would correspond to them", the spokesman said.

"This began when the U.S. - the United States and Vietnam began working together to repatriate the remains of American service members lost in Vietnam", he said.

'Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish'.

"The U.S. side never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, which is essential for defusing tension and preventing a war", an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman said.

It downplayed the significance of the United States suspending its military exercises with South Korea, something trumpeted by Trump after the summit as a success, by saying it made a larger concession by blowing up the tunnels at a nuclear test site. I expect that the DPRK is ready to do the same, ' Pompeo said, using the initials for North Korea's official name.

So North Korea is stalling on even the simplest promise made last month.

Senior North Korea official Kim Yong Chol agreed with Pompeo's remarks, adding that there were areas which Pyongyang needed to shed light on.

Trump suggested that China, North Korea's chief ally, might be interfering in reaction to the Trump administration's stance on US-China trade.

North Korean and US officials held a second day of meetings in Pyongyang on Saturday, with both sides saying there several key issues they need to "clarify".

"I think it was a pretty bad start to the process, but it doesn't mean it's over yet", said Hill, noting that North Korea talks were tough by nature.

In the days following his historic 12 June summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore, Trump had announced that the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress. But he maintained that progress is being made.

Officials from the two sides would meet next week in Panmunjom, on the border between the two Koreas, to discuss the return of the remains of roughly 7,000 USA soldiers missing since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

In a speech on Sunday in Vietnam, Pompeo urged North Korea to follow the example of Vietnam, saying he believed Pyongyang could replicate Hanoi's path to normal relations with Washington and to prosperity.

"Realistically, the only way you get to a denuclearised North Korea is if it has a better relationship with the United States".

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