Sun | Jul 22, 2018

After talks, NKorea accuses US of 'gangster-like' demands

Published:Monday | July 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left), says goodbye to Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Saturday, July 7, 2018, to travel to Japan. AP

TOKYO (AP):

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has delivered a dose of harsh reality to Donald Trump, bashing hopes for a quick denuclearization deal in a pointed rebuke to the president's top envoy while accusing the US of making "gangster-like" demands. After the historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore, Trump declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War. Now, three weeks later, the two sides were still at odds on all issues, including exactly what denuclearization means and how it might be verified, after a third visit to Pyongyang by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And, the promised remains have yet to be delivered.

 

'Productive discussions'

 

Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks in the North Korean capital on Saturday on an optimistic note even without meeting Kim Jong-Un, as he had on his previous two trips.

He said his discussions had been productive and conducted in good faith, but he allowed that much more work needed to be done. But in a harsh response issued just hours after Pompeo arrived in Tokyo, the North blasted the discussions, saying the visit had been "regrettable" and that Washington's "gangster-like" demands were aimed at forcing it to abandon nuclear weapons.

In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, the foreign ministry said the outcome of Pompeo's talks with senior official Kim Yong Chol was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.

"We had expected that the US side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit ... we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures," it said. "However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable.

"Our expectations and hopes were so naive, it could be called foolish."