Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Pompeo pushes back after North Korea calls US negotiators 'gangster-like'

Pompeo pushes back after North Korea calls US negotiators 'gangster-like'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks with North Korean officials in Pyongyang on Saturday, saying that the denuclearization talks, while tough, had produced some results.

President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that China might be seeking to derail United States efforts aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, but said he was confident that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would uphold a pact the two agreed on last month.

The lawmaker's comments come one-day after North Korea criticized the USA for their push for denuclearization.

Even so, the United States envoy yesterday insisted again that he thought the talks were "in good faith and productive". The mood appeared cordial, even jovial, during his two days in Pyongyang.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is known to want a formal peace treaty with the North, one that will pave the way for other agreements on trade and bilateral cooperation.

"These are complicated issues but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues".

The North's state media normally lead their television bulletins and front pages with Kim's doings, but a seven-day absence from the headlines, including during Pompeo's visit, had prompted speculation on his whereabouts among Korea-watchers. -North Korea talks, the government also suggested it was taking a cautiously optimistic view of events. Now that the trade war is up and running, Korea suddenly is giving the U.S. a hard time again. Unless they can close those gaps, the whole effort may be doomed.

This, he said, has "stoked distrust and increased the danger of war".

"It's certainly a setback and a change of heart and a very different picture coming from the North Korean side".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Kim Yong Chol, left, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, return to discussions after a break at Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 7, 2018.

"We agreed to the denuclearisation of North Korea", he wrote, despite the fact that the declaration signed by the two leaders refers to the denuclearisation of the "Korean peninsula" - a vague formula that leaves room for various interpretations.

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

The United States depends on China to enforce crippling sanctions against North Korea.

"The North Koreans ... understand that President Trump needs a win; he needs to have a good story coming out of his high-risk diplomacy with North Korea going into his delicate and maybe-highly charged negotiations with the Europeans and the Russians next week", she added.

Perception gaps? Negotiating points?

Pompeo said he had pushed North Korea on a promise to destroy a missile engine test site. We've got more bullets than they do when it comes to trade.

Those include the formation of working group to determine exactly how North Korea's denuclearization will be verified and a Thursday meeting with Pentagon officials to discuss the return of remains of Americans soldiers killed during the Korean War. But for political considerations, including the fight for control of Congress in November elections, would Trump make a deal?

"I think it was a pretty bad start to the process, but it doesn't mean it's over yet", said Hill, noting that North Korea talks were tough by nature.

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