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10 July 2018, 08:47 | Devin Moran
Pompeo shrugs off NKorea's 'gangster' rebuke, cites...
A statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the United States' "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization" and suggested the talks "brought us in a unsafe situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust between the DPRK and the U.S".
A month after President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, the harsh rhetoric was a signal that the honeymoon is over as the two sides appear no closer to agreement on concrete measures, a timeline or even a definition of denuclearization.
"We talked about what the North Koreans are continuing to do and how it's the case that we can get our arms around achieving what Chairman Kim and President Trumpboth agreed to", he said.
While Mr Pompeo on Saturday touted "progress on nearly all of the central issues", the North's Foreign Ministry hours later slammed the United States for its "deeply regrettable" attitude in making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands.
The spokesman said that the first high-level talks between the two countries following the summit failed to consolidate mutual trust, only to risk undermining the North's commitment to denuclearization. "But expectation and hope of ours were so naive as to be foolish", read the statement. "The North Koreans talked about a vague, step-by-step simultaneous approach, which seems to me the right way to move forward".
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has dismissed accusations by North Korea that he engaged in "gangster-like" behaviour during a visit there.
The North Korean leader says he is committed to denuclearisation, but how this will be achieved is unclear.
He admitted "there's still more work to be done" in other areas.
Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea.
"Now is the time for all of us, the State Department and others to deliver, to implement the agreement between President Trump and Chairman Kim", Pompeo told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops at the end of a visit to Afghanistan.
And he said some progress had been made towards agreeing "the modalities" of North Korea's destruction of a missile facility.
"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.
"While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the easing of the sanctions regime", he said.
The trip was Pompeo's third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit.
Trump had said during the Singapore summit that economic sanctions would remain in effect until North Korea reverses its nuclear programme, adding that there were no short-term plans to reduce the number of USA troops - some 28,500 - stationed in South Korea. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting had been planned.
The North's statement, coming so soon after Pompeo's trip, was sure to fuel growing skepticism in the USA over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.
"It's unfortunate when the president does his version of "mission accomplished", and says "we don't have a threat from [North Korea] anymore, you can sleep tonight", said Gallucci, who is now a distinguished professor in the practice of diplomacy at Georgetown University.
Pompeo, who spoke with Trump, national security adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly by secure phone before starting Saturday's session, replied that he "slept just fine".
Speaking privately, U.S. officials suggested the harshly-worded North Korean statement was a negotiating tactic.
Mr Pompeo said that in past two decades, U.S. bilateral trade with Vietnam had grown 8,000 per cent, and American companies had poured in billions of dollars of investments.
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Although the USA does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and top arms supplier. Koh also said the move was unlikely to be a one-off, adding that Beijing would continue to apply pressure on Taipei.
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