Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump tweets confidence that Kim Jong Un will denuclearize, honor 'our handshake'

Trump tweets confidence that Kim Jong Un will denuclearize, honor 'our handshake'

Following Pompeo's remarks before departing Pyongyang, North Korea's foreign ministry said the talks with Pompeo were "regrettable" and accused the USA of making unilateral demands for denuclearization, The Associated Press reports.

The senator's comments come just one day after North Korea's official KCNA news agency released a statement from an unnamed foreign ministry spokesperson which said that "the attitude of the United States was indeed regrettable" during Pompeo's talks with Pyongyang.

The peace process between the United States and North Korea was in crisis Sunday after Pyongyang angrily rejected Washington's "gangster-like" demand for rapid nuclear disarmament, despite two days of intense talks.

But the North Korean statement, carried by the official KCNA news agency, said the USA had gone against the spirit of the summit by putting unilateral pressure on the country to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Pompeo paid a visit to the DPRK from Thursday to Saturday, weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump met with DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.

Trump himself sought to put the best face possible on the state of the bargaining with North Korea.

"I have confidence that Kim Jong-un will honor the contract we signed and, even more importantly, our handshake", he said, before suggesting that China was attempting to strain relations between the USA and North Korea because of Trump's trade tariffs.

"We had detailed, substantive conversations about the next steps toward a fully verified and complete denuclearization", he said.

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had visited Pyongyang to get Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons.

In criticising the talks with Pompeo, however, the North carefully avoided attacking Trump, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump", but also that Washington must not allow "headwinds" against the "wills of the leaders".

North Korea's latest comments were a reminder of the difficulties that previous USA administrations had negotiating with the reclusive state.

Pompeo shrugged off the statement Sunday following separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea - although he didn't disagree with the nature of the U.S.'s "gangster-like" requests. But previous demands by the USA for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization", have made way for the phrase "final, fully verified denuclearization", as used in a tweet by Pompeo, Friday.

Pompeo had hoped during his recent visit to Pyongyang to press North Korea to work toward a timetable to end its nuclear program and come up with details of how verification of that can be carried out.

Pompeo added that the USA and world powers would maintain economic sanctions against North Korea until full denuclearization was achieved. -North Korea negotiations still have a long way to go.

"But it's an old plan", said Kim, who teaches North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul and runs a small private economic research firm. The trip was Pompeo's third to North Korea this year, and it marked the first time he did not meet with the leader.

"I saw some of the statements that came out, they were mixed, you haven't reported on that, the mixed statements, but maybe you will now". With Trump waging an ill-advised trade war against China, Beijing now has less incentive than ever to help the United States by pressuring Pyongyang, as Trump himself acknowledges. He alluded to an exchange between Pompeo and chief North Korean negotiator Kim Yong Chol in Pyongyang.

There were concerns from the onset because U.S. President Donald Trump failed to set a concrete framework for denuclearization.

At the talks, Mr Pompeo did not meet with Mr Kim, but instead with Kim Yong-chol, who is seen as his right-hand man.

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