North Korea calls denuclearisation talks with USA 'regrettable'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

But it may come as a surprise to those who heard President Trump when he said that there was "no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea" a day after he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time in Singapore.

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".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has brushed off North Korean charges he used "gangster-like" diplomacy in negotiations in Pyongyang, suggesting Kim Jong-un follows Vietnam's path in overcoming past hostilities with the United States.

"So look, people are going to make certain comments after meetings". "If I paid attention to what the press said, I'd go nuts".

TRT World spoke with Micheal Penn, who brings more from Tokyo on the disagreements between Washington and Pyongyang.

Pompeo's meeting with Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha followed Pompeo's two days of talks in Pyongyang that ended on Saturday.

"The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize the work that we have achieved", he said.

He said North Korea said it offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site, which would "physically affirm" a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles, that the two sides had agreed that a Pentagon team would meet North Korean officials on or about Thursday at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains. He said North Korea understood that denuclearization must be "complete" and 'verified'.

However, Pompeo said the progress achieved thus far did not warrant any concessions. "While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the relaxation of the existing sanctions regime".

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Following the high-profile summit between the US and North Korea, in which Trump and Kim took part in an historic meeting, President Trump appeared optimistic about the future of relations between the nations and spoke warmly of the talks between himself and Kim.

The North statement contradicted the version of events given by Pompeo just hours before.

Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and North Korea expert at the Heritage Foundation, said the statement showed that to North Korea, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula means "global arms control in which it will abandon its arsenal when all other nuclear powers, including the United States, abandon theirs". "This began when the USA - the United States and Vietnam began working together to repatriate the remains of American service members lost in Vietnam", he said. "Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish".

Suspending the drills cannot be compared, the statement said, with North Korea's irreversible destruction of an underground nuclear testing site - though some USA analysts have questioned the importance of that move, which was more symbolic than anything else given the relative ease with which new tunnels could be dug and the progress North Korea has already made in developing explosive nuclear devices.

President Donald Trump was accused of forcing the North Korea summit "for headlines" by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

He said there were numerous UN Security Council resolutions demanding North Korea hands over its nuclear material.

'If you make the Americans fight for every inch, the Americans will start measuring progress in inches - and will wind up paying by the inch.

As they began their talks on Saturday, Kim Yong Chol alluded to the fact that Pompeo and his delegation had stayed overnight in Pyongyang.

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