Pompeo's latest trip to North Korea has drawn particular attention because it was the first high-level meeting to discuss specific steps to denuclearize the North following the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shot back against North Korea on Sunday, saying the regime's criticism that us negotiators acted in a "gangster-like" way during his two-day visit to Pyongyang was unfounded.
After he met Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, Pompeo said he was in Tokyo to discuss the US alliance with Japan and maintaining "maximum pressure" on North Korea, an expression Trump's administration had backed away from after the Singapore summit.
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.
Pompeo is in Tokyo to brief his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the talks, which he has characterised as productive. "There are things that I have to clarify", Kim, who serves as vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said.
The U.S. and North Korea agreed, however, to hold working-level talks in the border truce village of Panmunjom for the return of the U.S. soldiers' remains and form a working group to discuss denuclearization and verification.
Critics and analysts who study North Korea have argued that the country's commitment to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", as spelled out in a joint declaration from the Singapore summit, doesn't go as far as other promises to give up its nuclear weapons that North Korea had made - and reneged upon - many times in the past.
Pompeo also emphasized economic sanctions now being imposed on the North "will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearization as agreed by Chairman Kim occurs".More news: England fan who smashed taxi roof while celebrating is arrested
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Just before Pompeo's arrival, the North's state-run media slammed Washington over its criticism of the North's human rights record. According to the report, North Korea may be intentionally trying to "deceive the U.S." by continuing these efforts in secret facilities.
"We had expected that the USA side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders" summit. we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures, ' it said.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said there was never an expectation that Pompeo would meet with Kim, although other US government officials previously indicated that was the plan.
Abraham Denmark, a senior defense official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said: "This is a rejection of US demands for unilateral denuclearisation by North Korea, and a clear message that the USA will need to give up more to make progress".
Speaking privately, U.S. officials suggested the harshly-worded North Korean reaction was a negotiating tactic. "Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish".
That change raised suspicion that the USA was softening its demands for the country, an argument that State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert had insisted on Friday wasn't true.
"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday, ' Kim Yong Chol said".
North Korea has plenty of "founding anniversaries" to choose from if Xi decides he does not want to be in Pyongyang on September 9.