In North Korea, Pompeo phones home to brief Trump

Mike Pompeo addresses the media before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

Mike Pompeo addresses the media before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

The North's relatively harsh tone contrasts somewhat with what Pompeo said after holding talks with Kim Yong-chol, a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, for two straight days from Friday, though he also admitted that there was "more work to be done".

It is the first time that Mr Pompeo has visited North Korea since Kim Jong-un's summit with US President Donald Trump.

On his flight to Pyongyang, Pompeo said both sides made commitments at the Singapore summit on the complete denuclearization of North Korea and on what a transformed relationship between their two countries might look like.

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

Mr Trump has vowed that North Korea will not be allowed to threaten the United States with its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

However, in another twist of approach towards Kim - who Trump once called "Little Rocket Man" - the USA administration renewed its sanctions on North Korea for another year.

Sarah Clarke, reporting from South Korea's capital, Seoul, said that North Korea appeared to be unhappy following the high-level talks.

He said Pompeo's delegation insisted on unilateral complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation, known as CVID. "There are things that I have to clarify", he said.

Ms Nauert on Saturday told reporters that Mr Pompeo did not meet Mr Kim during this visit to North Korea, but also that they had not expected him to.

North Korea's characterization of the discussions as "regrettable" is at odds with that of Pompeo, who said before leaving Pyongyang Saturday that the two sides had made "a great deal of progress".

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. She said the dinner lasted an hour and 45 minutes and at times the two were "cracking jokes" and "exchanging pleasantries".

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North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the U.S. betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and Kim by making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on 'CVID, ' or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

North Korea has long trumpeted a denuclearisation goal, but one that it sees as a lengthy process of undefined multilateral disarmament on the entire Korean peninsula, rather than a unilateral dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal.

USA intelligence officials earlier told Reuters Pompeo wanted to agree on at least an initial list of nuclear sites and an inventory that could be checked against available intelligence. South Korean news outlet, The Chosun Ilbo, referred to an unconfirmed "source in Washington" which stated that the "Rocket Man" CD came up in conversation during the historic summit, after Trump learned Kim had never heard the hit song.

Not even a month ago, Trump was tweeting that the North Korea nuclear problem was all but solved, and that Americans could finally rest easy thanks to his breakthrough in talks with Kim.

Both issues are considered essential tests of whether Kim is serious about talks.

"We confirmed that security assurances will be provided to North Korea as agreed in the summit. The North is trying to get an upper hand in further negotiations", he explained.

"Trump tried to sell this as a quickly achievable deal to denuclearise and now Pompeo and team are tasked with the impossible task of pushing forward on denuclearisation without a shared understanding with Pyongyang", said Stephen Nagy, a senior associate professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

North Korea is looking for a place in Switzerland to hold its second summit with the U.S., according to a Japanese news report on Friday.

It urged more bold steps from the US, saying that the shorter way to denuclearization is to break away from old ways and build trust in each other.

What did the State Department say?

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