Pompeo lauds progress in DPRK visit, but Pyongyang says talks regrettable

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Just five hours after Pompeo left Pyongyang, a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry in a statement complained, "The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization, just calling for. declaration and verification, all of which run counter to the spirit of the Singapore summit meeting and talks" on June 12. "The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know that critics will try to minimize the work that we've achieved".

Mr Pompeo reiterated in Tokyo on Sunday that sanctions on North Korea will remain in place until Pyongyang achieves "final" denuclearisation. Nothing beyond an easily reversible halt to nuclear and missile tests and the same empty promise to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" that the Kim family has been making since the 1990s.

The statement came shortly after Pompeo said he had made progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in the talks, including on setting a timeline for its denuclearisation, though more work remained to be done.

North Korea accused the Administration of having a "gangster-like mindset" on Saturday following U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang.

According to USA media reports, Pompeo did not meet Kim during the visit, unlike his previous trips during which he had met with the DPRK's top leader.

Public display of the North's culture or bringing North Korean figures to the South requires authorization from several state bodies, including Seoul's unification ministry and spy agency.

The conflicting reports come at a tense time for North Korean-U.S. relations.

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. If I paid attention to what the press said, I'd go nuts, and I refuse to do that. "We never thought it was going to be easy".

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Pompeo pointed to an incremental development in North Korea's commitment to return the remains of missing American soldiers.

That clearly remains a point of contention with North Korea. "The statements that were put out, Chairman Kim's statement following our discussions, continued to express his desire to complete the denuclearization to which he is so committed", Pompeo said.

Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Graham said: "I see China's hands all over this", adding that there is "no doubt" in his mind that China is "pulling the North Koreans back".

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

The pair provided few details on their lives in North Korea, although Kim Byeong-uk said his work in the civil service was as a provincial official in the far northeast of the country.

The U.S. envoy did not meet with North Korea's leader during this round of talks, but the U.S. State Department said he arrived bearing a letter from Trump addressed to Kim Jong Un.

"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", Pompeo told reporters after he was asked if a timeline has been set for denuclearization and if there was an agreement for the regime's destruction of its nuclear program.

The United States depends on China to enforce crippling sanctions against North Korea.