North Korea, U.S. split after denuclearization meeting

He said "We made progress on nearly all the central issues", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert noted on Twitter.

Remarkably, the North Korean foreign ministry seemed taken aback by the US calls that it abandon its nuclear arsenal - ostensibly the entire point behind last month's meeting in Singapore between Trump and Kim.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delivered a dose of harsh reality to Donald Trump, bashing hopes for a quick denuclearization deal in a pointed rebuke to the president's top envoy while accusing the USA of making "gangster-like" demands.

Mr Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Friday for a two-day visit - his third trip to the isolated state since taking the secretary of state job in April.

Kim made a broad commitment at the Singapore summit to "work toward denuclearization", but did not give details on how or when he would dismantle North Korea's nuclear program.

"We had many hours of productive conversations", Pompeo told reporters Saturday in Pyongyang before boarding a flight to Tokyo. He stressed there was still more work to be done in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides had set up to deal with specific issues. Spokesperson Heather Nauert did say that Pompeo left a letter from Trump to Kim, but denied reports that he had also taken a CD of Elton John's "Rocket Man" with him.

It is the first time he has visited North Korea since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Pompeo could point to no concrete achievement from the talks, aside from an agreement for the two sides to meet again around July 12 in Panmunjom, the border village between the two Koreas, to discuss returning the remains of USA soldiers from the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Following last month's summit in Singapore, senior USA and North Korean diplomats struggled to maintain basic communication, leading to concerns that the talks would require Pompeo, who has many other responsibilities, to devote an unmanageable amount of time on the Korea issue.

Yet Mr Pompeo himself had earlier said he envisioned that occurring in about two-and-a-half years, by the end of Mr Trump's term, and Ms Nauert later said the U.S. wasn't putting a timeline on the process.

Defcon security experts said North Korea's destruction of its nuclear facility was "superficial" and "insufficient" to destroy the uranium enrichment plant.

However, the statement also appeared to separate North Korea's annoyance with the US from its relationship with Trump himself.

There had been previous signs that all was not well on the diplomatic front during Pompeo's trip, which marked the most most significant engagement between the countries since the Trump-Kim summit on June 12 in Singapore.

Speaking privately, United States officials suggested the North Korean statement was a negotiating tactic.

One hoped-for breakthrough during his visit would be the return of the remains of U.S. GIs killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

"However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable", the spokesman said.

Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, dictator Kim Jong Un's top adviser and North Korea's former spy chief, exchanged pleasantries before the second meeting between the two countries.

Pompeo just hours earlier said the two sides engaged in "good-faith negotiations".

Adding to the pressure on Pompeo is a leaked US intelligence assessment casting doubt on North Korea's willingness to relinquish its arsenal.

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