Pyongyang lashes out at 'rapacious' US

Pyongyang lashes out at 'rapacious' US

North Korea said Saturday that high-level talks with a USA delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were "regrettable" and accused Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nukes.

Sen. Roy Blunt said on Sunday that President Trump should reconsider his pledge to stop military drills with South Korea following North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's about-face over the weekend in which he accused the US of making "gangster-like" demands.

By analyzing the results of Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang, Japanese officials are trying to gauge how seriously North Korea is committing itself to the "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" as agreed in the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore.

On his way home from Singapore, Trump declared that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat to the US.

Pompeo downplayed North Korea's accusation that the USA had made "gangster-like" demands that it abandon its nuclear program and that their talks were "regrettable".

A Pentagon team would be meeting with North Korean officials around 12 July at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains, Mr Pompeo told reporters. "Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish".

The AP report added that North Korean officials said talks were now in a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm".

A former top USA diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, told The Associated Press the setback with North Korea was to be expected and warned Trump he is engaged in a long negotiation that would not produce easy, quick, made-for-television results that the president likely wants.

He said the two sides spent good time discussing denuclearisation timeline and the North's nuclear and missile facilities.

"There will be a verification connected to the complete denuclearisation, it's what President Trump and Chairman Kim both agreed to", he added.

The spokesman said that the first high-level talks between the two countries following the summit failed to consolidate mutual trust, only to risk undermining the North's commitment to denuclearization.

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The top USA diplomat continued to describe his conversations with senior North Korean officials as "productive", even as North Korea attacked the US negotiating stance.

Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the state department, tweeted a number of photos during the talks, including one of a beaming Mr Pompeo pictured after the final meeting.

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

The danger now is that if happens if Trump finds that North Korea isn't willing to bend to his most unrealistic demands, the countries could find themselves in an even more unstable position than where they started.

Officials from the two sides would meet next week in Panmunjom, on the border between the two Koreas, to discuss the return of the remains of the some 7,000 USA soldiers still listed as missing in action since the 1950-53 Korean War.

It dismissed Trump's unilateral order to suspend joint United States and South Korean war games as a cosmetic and "highly reversible" measure and criticised USA negotiators who "never mentioned" the subject of bringing the 1953 Korean War to a formal end with a peace treaty.

"On this trip I'm seeking to fill in some details on those commitments and continue the momentum toward implementation of what the two leaders promised each other and the world", Pompeo told reporters as he headed to Pyongyang.

"Particularly, they have suggested that they are disappointed by the United States insistence on focusing on the denuclearisation plans over what they described as big-picture issues", she said.

One hoped-for breakthrough on this trip would have been the return of the remains of US troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

That statement is in contrast to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's.

The alleged gift came after the song became a point of discussion for Trump and Kim during their summit in Singapore last month.

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