Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Graham blames China for North Korea's condemnation of United States talks

Graham blames China for North Korea's condemnation of United States talks

By analyzing the results of Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang, Japanese officials are trying to gauge how seriously North Korea is committing itself to the "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" as agreed in the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore.

Pompeo is brushing aside North Korea's accusation of "gangster-like" demands, vowing that sanctions will remain until leader Kim Jong Un's pledge to get rid of his nuclear weapons is met.

While there have been no nuclear or missile tests since the Singapore summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month, satellite imagery shows upgrades to the country's Yongbyon nuclear plant.

In Vietnam, Pompeo was looking for increased cooperation from Hanoi on enforcing sanctions on North Korea, which he said would not be lifted until it fully dismantled its nuclear weapons program in a transparent and verifiable way.

Pyongyang's criticism of the meeting with the secretary of state was at odds with Pompeo's initial assessment that the talks over denuclearization were productive.

The talks were held at a villa in an official compound close to the imposing mausoleum where North Korea's former helmsmen Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il - the current leader's grandfather and father - lie in state.

Kim later said that "there are things that I have to clarify" to which Pompeo responded that "there are things that I have to clarify as well".

"Particularly, they have suggested that they are disappointed by the USA insistence on focusing on the denuclearisation plans over what they described as big-picture issues", she said. He also discussed the repatriation of the remains of United States soldiers missing from the 1950-'53 Korean War.

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.

Speaking to reporters before leaving North Korea, Mr Pompeo said he spent "a good deal of time" discussing the timeline and declaration of the North's nuclear and missile facilities.

Meanwhile, North Korea says it disagrees with the USA calls for denuclearization, and called the discussions with Pompeo very concerning.

His optimism, however, came in marked contrast to how the North perceived the talks, which had been the highest-level negotiations since the June 12 summit.

"I am convinced that he understands the commitment he made, and I am hopeful we will find a path forward to achieve the commitment that Chairman Kim himself made personally to President (Donald) Trump, and the world, in a signed agreement".

Leading US senators expressed concern about North Korea's harsh words and urged the Trump administration to keep up the pressure on Pyongyang.

Following the agreement signed at the Singapore summit, it appears that again North Korea and the USA have only committed to broad strokes and say that now the hard work is beginning, NPR's Seoul correspondent Elise Hu tells Weekend Edition Saturday.

But Pompeo had said that his conversations with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol were "productive" and that he had made progress "on nearly all of the central issues".

Nauert told reporters that the two sides spoke during a dinner following their two hour and 45 minute meeting Friday night and they were "cracking jokes" and "exchanging pleasantries".

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

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