Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Pompeo shrugs off North Korea's accusation of USA 'gangster-like' demands

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not happy with the US Evan Vucci North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not happy with the US
Jay Anderson | 10 July, 2018, 08:45

The rebuke from North Korea - and the fact that Pompeo left the talks with little to show for his effort - suggests that Pyongyang, and not the United States, is setting the terms of negotiation. 'If I paid attention to the press, I'd go nuts'.

"The settlement of outstanding issues surrounding North Korea, including nuclear, missile and abduction, will be extremely important to Japan, and that will also be extremely important for regional peace and stability", Abe said at the outset of the talks.

The Commander-in-Chief called out President Xi Jinping on social media earlier Monday, saying he was "confident" that Kim Jong Un was prepared to honor his agreement but said Beijing may be meddling over the United States' trade posture towards China.

In Tokyo on Sunday, Pompeo rejected the suggestion the two sides were far apart, describing North Korean officials as more receptive to USA demands behind closed doors.

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

Those include the formation of working group to determine exactly how North Korea's denuclearisation will be verified and a Thursday meeting with Pentagon officials to discuss the return of remains of Americans soldiers killed during the Korean War.

"Look, people are going to make stray comments after meetings", Pompeo said.

"Their statement is typical North Korean negotiating style", Duyeon Kim, a visiting fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul, said in an email.

His criticism was essentially the Global Times editorial in reverse: "I have confidence that Kim Jong-un will honor the contract we signed and, even more importantly, our handshake".

The tweet suggests that Trump has no plans to back off the agreement he thinks the two leaders reached during their summit last month.




Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the importance of a comprehensive resolution of issues related to North Korea during his meeting with Pompeo.

Mr Pompeo reiterated in Tokyo on Sunday that sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until Pyongyang achieves "final" denuclearisation.

The White House had said earlier Pompeo would meet with the leader, but the encounter did not materialise and the top U.S. diplomat only met with Kim Yong Chol. "But this expectation and hope of ours were so naive as to be gullible".

North Korea expressed regret on Saturday over the attitude of U.S. negotiators during talks to work out details on how to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula as agreed to by their leaders in their recent summit meeting.

As diplomatic engagement increases contact between the two Koreas and reduces hostility across the border, authorities may be anxious ordinary North Koreans might view the South favorably.

The return of remains of U.S. troops who went missing during the 1950-53 Korean War could help build trust between North Korea and the United States, Pompeo said on Monday.

In criticising the talks with Pompeo, however, the North carefully avoided attacking Trump, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump", but also that Washington must not allow "headwinds" against the "wills of the leaders".

Trump wrote. The US president expressed a similarly skeptical attitude towards China's cooperation in July of a year ago. "The North is trying to get an upper hand in further negotiations", he explained.

While his talks with North Korean officials were conducted in good faith and they reaffirmed their commitment to abandoning nuclear weapons, he said, the USA sanctions against the nation will remain in place.

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