Washington and Pyongyang get down to 'nitty gritty' in nuclear talks

Washington and Pyongyang get down to 'nitty gritty' in nuclear talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, right, meet in Pyongyang on July 6.

"The US side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearisation", a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that U.S. and North Korean officials had set up working groups to deal with "nitty gritty stuff", including verification of efforts to achieve denuclearization, which would be headed on the U.S. side by Sung Kim, a Korean-American who is also ambassador to the Philippines.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry statement called on both sides to take simultaneous actions to improve the environment surrounding the talks.

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.

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

At the same time, North Korea said it still wants to build on the "friendly relationship and trust" that Trump and Kim created during the Singapore gathering. North Korea committed at the summit to the "immediate repatriation" of remains already identified, but that hasn't happened yet.

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

North Korean state-run news agency KCNA released a statement saying the U.S.is "fatally mistaken" if officials believe the country would follow through with aggressive demands to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

In a statement issued by a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman and carried by the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea lashed out at the USA for seeking "unilateral and forced denuclearisation" from Pyongyang.

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Speaking in Tokyo after two days of intense discussions in Pyongyang, Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress and were being conducted in "good faith."

Leaked US intelligence findings concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear programme completely.

A failure in the talks would amount to an embarrassment for Pompeo, whom Trump tasked with leading the negotiations and who had said repeatedly that Kim Jong Un was ready to commit to something no North Korean government had delivered on in decades.

Pompeo reiterated that Trump was "committed to a brighter future for North Korea".

He had said progress was made during his two-day visit to Pyongyang.

Before arriving in North Korea, Pompeo said he was seeking to "fill in" some details on North Korea's commitments and maintain the momentum toward implementing the agreement from the summit.

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

Kim said he heard Pompeo was "quite pleased" with the two sides' first meeting, but dropped a warning that "there are things that I have to clarify". "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", said Pompeo, according to a pool report from usa reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang. It could move by one day or two where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains.

Last month, Trump told a crowd of supporters that the remains of 200 service members had "been sent back", but USA military officials later said that was not the case. It was unclear if Pompeo met this time with Kim Jong Un, as he had on his previous two trips to Pyongyang.

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