High-level talks between the United States and North Korea appeared to hit a snag on Saturday as Pyongyang said a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been "regrettable" and accused Washington of making "gangster-like" demands to pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.
The rhetoric issued by North Korea following the Pompeo meetings showed a return to sharp, provocative language, dangling the possibility of war if the US continued to make demands.
On Sunday, during their 40-minute trilateral meeting, Pompeo briefed Kono and Kang about the results of his latest talks with the North, Kang said.
According to the report from The Post, the talks did not go well-with a statement from North Korea suggesting the US had not been willing to compromise.
Trump suspended some upcoming joint drills in a goodwill gesture after his summit with Kim, causing some consternation among experts about the impact on both countries' military readiness.
The ministers stressed the need to call on North Korea to take concrete steps toward denuclearization and to keep existing United Nations economic sanctions in place. "The choice now lies with North Korea and its people". Denuclearization was the third item on the list.
It dismissed Trump's unilateral order to suspend joint US 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.
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Speaking Sunday to business executives in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Pompeo emphasized how the key to Vietnam's rapid economic growth in the past few decades has been its engagement with the USA, and that this could be North Korea's future too. Though Trump claimed "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea" following the Singapore summit, US officials cited by NBC News reported that the country is still covertly producing uranium for nuclear weapons. "They view the test site as a bigger concession than it's getting credit for", Narang said. "We were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", an unnamed spokesperson said in a statement that was run on state media.
In the Singapore statement, Kim signed up to a vague commitment to work towards "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", but Pyongyang has long seen that as a lengthy process of undefined multilateral disarmament, rather than a unilateral dismantling of its own weapons.
"The North has never seen denuclearization in a vacuum, but as part of a larger package and something that's considered only after there is a peace regime", said Kim.
After the historic U.S. -South Korean military drills.
While the statement did leave the door open for further talks, it may be setting the tone for going forward.
The Trump administration has repeatedly offered economic incentives for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The United States may not ultimately agree to North Korea's goals, but Wit and others said that talks should continue. It also underscores crucial gaps in how the USA and North Korea define denuclearization and see the path forward. For all the harsh language in the Foreign Ministry's statement on Saturday, it remained respectful of one man whose views of the negotiations are really crucial. We buy $500 billion worth of goods from the Chinese.