North Korea says resolve for denuclearisation may falter but Pompeo lauds progress

Pompeo meets with North Korea's former spy chief on nuclear weapons to build 'trust'

Pompeo meets with North Korea's former spy chief on nuclear weapons to build 'trust'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thought the two-day discussions were "very productive" while a North Korean spokesperson has labeled them "regrettable".

The US betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by making unilateral demands on the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) of North Korea, the statement said.

Last month, at a historic summit with US President Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un agreed to "work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" in return for security guarantees and an end to a risky stand-off with US forces.

The North said the outcome of the follow-up talks was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearisation that had been firm".

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

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters Saturday that Pompeo and Kim had discussed denuclearization issues along with the repatriation of American remains from the Korean War, adding, "we expect them to live up to their commitments".

Pompeo said the two sides agreed to hold discussions on July 12 on repatriation, and also discussed "modalities" for destruction of a missile engine testing facility.

"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 Trump both agreed to, which is the complete denuclearization of North Korea", he said.

The official also mentioned that leader Kim Jong-un's letter for Trump was given to Pompeo, saying that he voiced confidence that the trust and friendship built through the Singapore meeting will deepen through talks that the two countries will have going forward.

"But we did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", said Kim via an interpreter. North Korea, however, slammed the USA for making "rapacious" demands during the talks.

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It comes just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed he had made progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in his talks with Pyongyang.

Kim asked Pompeo if had slept well, to which Pompeo said he had. The countries also agreed to create working groups that will be overseen by Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines who's handled some lower-level discussions, to work out what State Department spokeswoman called the "nitty gritty details" of future talks.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pictured returning to a meeting with North Korea's Kim Yong Chol (not pictured).

Kim said he heard Pompeo was "quite pleased" with the two sides' first meeting, but dropped a warning that "there are things that I have to clarify".

The Trump administration has said it would take between 1 and 2 1/2 years to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program. Before this trip, Pompeo said he was hoping to "fill in" some of the details on what North Korea committed to at the summit.

There was no immediate explanation of what needed to be clarified, but the two sides have been struggling to specify what exactly "denuclearization" would entail and how it could be verified to the satisfaction of the United States.

"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".

Mr Pompeo said more talks are needed on both.

A state department spokesperson said Mr Pompeo had been "very firm" in focusing on denuclearisation, as well as on security assurances and another important U.S. demand - the return of remains of USA service personnel from the Korean War.

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