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Pompeo shrugs off 'gangster' rebuke from North Korea

10 Juillet 2018

It was his first response to Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang, and he said, "I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake".

"When we spoke to them about denuclearization, they did not push back", Pompeo told a news conference after two days of talks in Pyongyang that ended on Saturday.

"The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know that critics will try to minimise the work that we've achieved".

But "there is no difference" between the two phrases and North Korea clearly understands it, Pompeo insisted during a joint news conference in Tokyo after the trilateral meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, Taro Kono and Kang Kyung-wha.

"If those requests were "gangster-like" then the world is a gangster, because there was a unanimous decision at the U.N. Security Council about what needs to be achieved", the secretary said in the first US response to the North's assertion that added to skepticism over future negotiations. "We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea".

Pompeo characterized his talks with North Korean officials as productive, but the North's foreign ministry blasted the discussions, saying the visit - the third by the top US diplomat since April - had been "regrettable".

His remark came after North Korea expressed harsh criticism after Pompeo and USA diplomats wrapped up their meeting with the North Korean counterpart, including Kim Yong-chol, the country's former spy chief and top party official.

"We expected that the US side would come with productive measures conducive to building trust in line with the spirit of the North-US summit and (we) considered providing something that would correspond to them", the spokesman said. Trump offered security guarantees to Pyongyang and pledged to suspend the large-scale military drills with South Korea.

The North Koreans also have yet to return the remains of USA troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, which was the one specific promise made in the four-point summit declaration.

Trump has both praised China for its role in bringing North Korea to the negotiating table and criticised it for loose enforcement of sanctions, particularly on the border between the two countries.

China and Russian Federation are Pyongyang's biggest trading partners. Pompeo didn't get to meet with Kim.

North Korea's ongoing engagement with the outside world is taking place following a year when trade was hit by sanctions.

5 - Pompeo has highlighted how much economic benefit Vietnam has seen by cooperating with the USA and how North Korea could also follow suit.

DPRK is short for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official title. "No one walked away from that, they're still equally committed". Nor is it likely that North Korean demands for concessions will be accepted by Trump's national security team-James Mattis, John Bolton and Pompeo-who are cognisant of how the North Koreans behave.

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster", said Pompeo, noting that US demands for North Korea to denuclearize were supported by a consensus at the U.N. Security Council.

US officials claim that the two countries have established working groups to address the details of and implement an agreement.

"It's a broad definition", Pompeo said. Beijing wants to see negotiations in good faith, and usually such outreach would give the United States leverage to demand that more negotiations on its part should be backed up by greater economic pressure by Beijing on its sole formal ally.

Pompeo shrugs off 'gangster' rebuke from North Korea