‘Very productive talks with N. Korea’

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Following Pompeo's remarks before departing Pyongyang, North Korea's foreign ministry said the talks with Pompeo were "regrettable" and accused the us of making unilateral demands for denuclearization, The Associated Press reports.

North Korea calls talks with the United States "regrettable" while Secretary of State Pompeo says the discussions were productive; former US ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson weighs in on 'Sunday Morning Futures'.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, says goodbye to Kim Yong Chol, right, 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.

It calls into question the United States effort to extract concessions from Pyongyang and underscores a vast difference in the way the two sides view the agreement between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month.

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(L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korea's Foreign Minsiter Kang Kyung-wha in Tokyo. He later said there was progress in talks, including on setting a timeline for denuclearization, but also acknowledged much work remained to be done. The spokesman also downplayed the significance of the USA suspending its military exercises with South Korea, saying the North had made a larger concession by blowing up the tunnels at its nuclear test site. Pompeo responded, "There are things that I have to clarify as well". The countries also agreed to create working groups that will be overseen by Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines who has handled some lower-level discussions, to work out what State Department spokeswoman called the "nitty gritty details" of future talks.

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Mr Pompeo spoke after North Korea said the talks with America's top diplomat "brought us in a risky situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearisation, rather than consolidating trust between the DPRK and the US".

The secretary of state is under pressure to deliver a more concrete disarmament plan after the two leaders signed a vague one and a half page document that didn't provide a timetable for dismantling North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

Speaking to pool reporters before leaving the DPRK, Pompeo said the two men had spent "a good deal of time" on the topic of North Korea's denuclearization.

"The United States has been clear about what we seek from North Korea to set in motion this great chain of events", Pompeo said in Hanoi.

After two days of talks with senior officials, he said efforts to push Pyongyang towards abandoning nuclear weapons had worldwide backing. Yet Pompeo himself had earlier said he envisioned that occurring in about two and a half years, by the end of Trump's term, and Nauert later said the USA wasn't putting a timeline on the process.

Abraham Denmark, a senior defence official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said: "This is a rejection of U.S. demands for unilateral denuclearisation by North Korea, and a clear message that the USA will need to give up more to make progress".

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Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met Kim Jong-un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although United States officials had suggested such a meeting was expected.

Pompeo also said he raised the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s during meetings with his North Korea counterpart this time. -North Korea summit in Singapore, President Donald Trump declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of American soldiers.

"The U.S. has to tell Kim Jong Un privately that if he thinks things aren't going well, they could go a lot worse", Bennett told the Herald yesterday.

Nauert declined to characterize the discussions so far, but said, "We expect them to live up to their commitments".

On Sunday, the USA secretary of state will meet the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea in Tokyo.

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