Pompeo brushes off North Korean 'gangster' claim

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

It calls into question the USA 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.

Sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until Pyongyang carries out "final" denuclearisation, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

But shortly after he left Pyongyang, North Korea issued an angry statement rejecting what it described as Washington's "gangster-like" demand for rapid nuclear disarmament.

Pompeo insisted that his visit to North Korea was "productive".

"At the same time we have reaffirmed that the global community will continue to fully implement relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions", Kono said.

Analysts said that North Korea's statement was not unexpected but that there may indeed be a long way to go in U.S.

TRT World spoke with Micheal Penn, who brings more from Tokyo on the disagreements between Washington and Pyongyang.

After his talks in Pyongyang, Pompeo stopped in Tokyo and met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and planned to brief him on his discussion with North Korean officials.

"The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize what we have achieved", he said.

And over the weekend, ABC News reported on tensions at the talks, suggesting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Pompeo appeared to have rubbed each other up the wrong way.

Mr Pompeo also sought to dispel suggestions the Trump administration had backed down from demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North's nuclear weapons.

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Pompeo also emphasized economic sanctions now being imposed on the North "will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearization as agreed by Chairman Kim occurs".

However, Pompeo said the progress achieved thus far did not warrant any concessions. 'While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the easing of the sanctions regime, ' he said.

Following the high-profile summit between the USA and North Korea, in which Trump and Kim took part in an historic meeting, President Trump appeared optimistic about the future of relations between the nations and spoke warmly of the talks between himself and Kim.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo with his Japanese and South Korean Pompeo responded directly to North Korea's Foreign Ministry's comment, after his two-day trip to Pyongyang, that the USA employed a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday brushed aside North Korea's accusation of "gangster-like" denuclearization demands.

'However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable. "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.

However, the statement also appeared to separate North Korea's annoyance with the USA from its relationship with Trump himself.

"If they are able to do this, they will be remembered, and Chairman Kim will be remembered, as a hero of the Korean people", Mr Pompeo said. 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.

"So if were President Trump I would not let China use North Korea to back me off of the trade dispute".

Pyongyang noted that it had already destroyed a nuclear test site - a concession that Trump has publicly hailed as a victory for peace - and lamented that Pompeo had proved unwilling to match this with United States concessions.

"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", he added.

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