North Korea says talks with Mike Pompeo were 'regrettable'

Pompeo is greeted by North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho as he arrives at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

Pompeo is greeted by North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho as he arrives at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was ensconced in an elegant Pyongyang guest house for a second day of talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's right-hand man Kim Yong Chol.

The North provided a much harsher assessment of the talks, saying that the United States betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim by making "one-sided and robber-like" demands on "CVID", or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

"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 denuclearisation of North Korea", he said.

A key aim of Mr Pompeo's two days of talks was to firm up North Korea's commitment to denuclearisation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Kim Yong Chol, left, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, Saturday, July 7, 2018.

Pompeo said that a Pentagon team would be meeting with North Korean officials on or about July 12 at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains and that working level talks would be held soon on the destruction of North Korea's missile engine testing facility.

Mr Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol met for almost three hours on Friday and then had dinner amid growing scepticism over how serious Kim Jong-un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his June 12 summit with Trump into concrete action.

"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", Kim said, through a translator.

"There are things that I have to clarify as well", Pompeo responded.

Nauert told reporters that the two sides spoke during a dinner following their two hour and 45 minute meeting Friday night and they were "cracking jokes" and "exchanging pleasantries".

But Pompeo on Saturday did not directly answer some questions from reporters about how that process is going, after NBC News reported that North Korea is expanding some nuclear test sites.

In comparison to past global nuclear disarmament negotiations, and indeed to most major power diplomacy, the discussions between Washington and North Korea on thawing ties and dismantling the North's arsenal appear to be proceeding in reverse.

"Of course it is important", Vice Chairman Kim told the U.S. Secretary. "Our expectation is exactly what the president and Kim Jong Un jointly agreed to in Singapore, and that is the denuclearisation of North Korea".

According to the New York Times, Pompeo has said that one goal of the talks is to determine whether the North Koreans are honest about denuclearization, while privately conceding to some colleagues that he considers the talks to be doomed. Talks will also cover the possibility of recovering the remains of U.S. troops missing from the Korean War.

Some officials in the State and Defense Departments and in USA intelligence agencies are anxious Trump has put himself at a disadvantage by overstating the results of the Singapore summit. The State Department said its policy remains unchanged.

The bombshell threat came just momebnts after Mr Pompeo hailed progress in Pyongyang on setting a timeline to North Korea's denuclearisation.

They were expected to talk all day Saturday before Pompeo heads to Tokyo to brief Washington's Japanese and South Korean allies.

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