North Korea says USA 'gangster-like' over denuclearisation

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials say in their meeting in Tokyo on Sunday, Pompeo gave Kono details on his latest talks with North Korea, which outlined in detail the steps toward denuclearization the U.S. expects the North to take.

His two days of talks with senior North Korean officials had "made progress", and included a "detailed and substantive discussion about the next steps towards a fully verified and complete denuclearization, he said".

In the days following his historic June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump had announced that the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.

In a statement issued just hours after the two-day talks finished on Saturday, North Korea accused the U.S. side of a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization", then added, "We still cherish our good faith in President Trump".

The U.S.is "fatally mistaken" if it thinks North Korea can be pressured into accepting its demands, the statement continued, adding that a breakdown in the North Korean-U.S. relationship would mean "there is no guarantee that this will not result in yet another tragedy".

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter there was a danger of military action because Trump might now say he had tried diplomacy but was betrayed by Kim.

After discussions in Pyongyang, North Korea's foreign ministry said that the USA was making unilateral demands aimed at forcing it into giving up its nuclear arsenal.

Still, the veteran diplomat sees the need for Pompeo, with the backing of the president, to continue negotiating with North Korea for the sake of the USA, its allies in the region and the rest of the world.

But no details were announced on how or when the reclusive state would dismantle its nuclear program, and Pompeo said he would aim to "fill in" details on the Singapore agreement.

He reiterated President Donald Trump's pledge to boost North Korea's economy and provide it with security assurances in exchange for Kim giving up nuclear weapons.

After wrapping up his talks in Tokyo, Pompeo yesterday left for Vietnam, where he met with Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi.

In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, it carefully avoided attacking Trump personally, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump, ' but stressed that Washington must not allow 'headwinds" against the 'wills of the leaders'. Pompeo spoke with Trump, Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly on Saturday before his second round of meetings with Kim Yong Chol.

After the meeting, North Korean officials said their talks with Pompeo had been "regrettable" and said Pompeo made "one-sided and robber-like" demands regarding denuclearization.

Pompeo shrugged off the statement Sunday following separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea - although he didn't disagree with the nature of the U.S.'s "gangster-like" requests.

As diplomatic engagement increases contact between the two Koreas and reduces hostility across the border, authorities may be anxious ordinary North Koreans might view the South favorably.

Some analysts and lawmakers have expressed alarm that the talks appear to have run into difficulties, although others see a possible North Korean negotiating ploy.

It said North Korea put forth several constructive proposals, including a declaration formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War, which it called "the first process of defusing tension".

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