Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Pompeo sees hard road ahead but pursues North Korean denuclearization talks

Pompeo sees hard road ahead but pursues North Korean denuclearization talks

There has been growing skepticism in the U.S. over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal, and both sides have said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim reached in Singapore.

North Korea had expressed regret on Saturday over the attitude of U.S. negotiators during talks between the country and Pompeo in Pyongyang last week to work out details on how to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula as agreed to by their leaders in their recent summit meeting.

The diplomatic disconnect makes it clear that the nations are not on the same page.

According to Aljazeera, the discussions in the North Korean capital took place on the back of last month's summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

"We thought that the U.S. side would come with a constructive proposal which accords with the spirit of the DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday extolled improved relations with Vietnam as a model for rapprochement with North Korea.

Asked if he discussed any timetable or declaration of nuclear and missile facilities in the North, Pompeo only said he discussed a lot of issues with the North Korean officials and that there is "still much work to do to establish a precise time line".

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

But while Pompeo on Saturday painted a positive picture of the follow-up talks, North Korean officials accused the United States of trying to unilaterally pressure their country into abandoning its nuclear programme. The accusation came after Pompeo visited Pyongyang and declared that the talks were productive.

He characterised the discussions as positive, but hours after he left Pyongyang, North Korea issued an angry statement rejecting what it described as Washington's "gangster-like" demand for rapid nuclear disarmament. "If they're able to do this, they will be remembered and Chairman Kim will be remembered as a hero of the Korean people". "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.

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Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the importance of a comprehensive resolution of issues related to North Korea during his meeting with Pompeo.

"There will be things that take place along the way that help achieve the security assurances that the North Koreans need".

A former top US diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, said the setback was to be expected and warned Trump he is engaged in a long negotiation that would not produce easy quick, made for television results that the president likely wants.

After the historic U.S.

It is a marked contrast to the mutual threats and mounting fears of a year ago, instead raising hopes of reaching a deal over North Korea's arsenal, which include nuclear bombs and missiles capable of reaching the USA mainland.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha speak with each other after a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2018.

"The United States, Republic of Korea and Japan continue to strengthen our trilateral cooperation to achieve the goal set out in Singapore", Pompeo said.

There was speculation that during his trip to Pyongyang, Pompeo would bring back the remains of some American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War. It said the US side had shown little interest, giving "certain conditions and excuses".

Mr Pompeo also sought to dispel suggestions the Trump administration had backed down from demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North's nuclear weapons.

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