North Korea says talks with Pompeo were 'regrettable'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards his plane Friday at Yokota Air Base in Fussa Japan to travel to Pyongyang North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards his plane Friday at Yokota Air Base in Fussa Japan to travel to Pyongyang North Korea

"Our policy hasn't changed", she said when asked why US officials appear in public comments to have backed away from early demands that an agreement must cover "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization".

The North expected that Washington "would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit", the official said.

The North's statement came hours after Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks with senior North Korean officials without meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but with commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

"We expected that the USA side would bring itself with a constructive proposal", the spokesman said, without elaborating.

It lashed out at the United States for its "unilateral and rapacious demands for denuclearization". He argued instead for both sides to take a series of simultaneous steps as a "shortcut" to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

"The high-level talks this time 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 U.S".

And it did so in stark terms, according to a statement relayed by the KCNA state news agency.

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".

Pompeo said that North Korea, in the "many hours of talks" at a walled-off guest-house outside downtown Pyongyang, reiterated its commitment to denuclearisation.

Before departing for Japan, Pompeo briefly addressed the meetings with North Korea, saying, "Some places [there was] a great deal of progress; other places there's still more work to be done".

Speaking privately, USA officials suggested the North Korean statement was a negotiating tactic.

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The State Department has pushed back on reports that the U.S.is softening its position with North Korea, the spokesperson telling reporters Friday "nothing could be further from the truth".

In the statement calling the USA stance "regrettable", the North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman quoted by KCNA said the USA is unilaterally demanding denuclearisation and trying to postpone discussion of declaring an end to the Korean War.

Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, a top adviser to the country's leader and a former spy chief, exchanged pleasantries Saturday after having had a cordial and relaxed meeting Friday night, but the US secretary of state didn't seem pleased with Kim's forwardness. The countries also agreed to create working groups that will be overseen by Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines who's handled some lower-level discussions, to work out what State Department spokeswoman called the "nitty gritty details" of future talks. "We had productive, good-faith negotiations", he added.

The North provided a much harsher assessment of the talks, saying that the United States betrayed the spirit of last month's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim by making "one-sided and robber-like" demands on "CVID", or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea.

One hoped-for breakthrough during his visit would be the return of the remains of U.S. GIs killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

"It's certainly a setback and a change of heart and a very different picture coming from the North Korean side".

Earlier, Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol both said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim Jong-un agreed to in Singapore.

"There is no - no one walked away from that, they're still equally committed, Chairman Kim is. still committed", he said.

"Chairman Kim is still committed, I had a chance to speak to President Trump this morning".

Defcon security experts said North Korea's destruction of its nuclear facility was "superficial" and "insufficient" to destroy the uranium enrichment plant.

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