North Korea says United States attitude in denuclearization talks 'extremely regrettable'

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The top US diplomat, visiting the Vietnamese capital after two days of talks in Pyongyang aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program, said 23 years of normalized USA relations with Vietnam should be proof to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the US can create new ties with former foes.

When asked about the report from June, Pompeo said the US has talked to North Korea about the issue and how to achieve "what Chairman Kim [Jong-un] and President Trump both agreed to".

The official also mentioned that leader Kim Jong-un's letter for Trump was given to Pompeo, saying that he voiced confidence that the trust and friendship built through the Singapore meeting will deepen through talks that the two countries will have going forward.

Pompeo asserted that the United States will again meet with North Korea next week in the demilitarized zone.

"Our expectation is exactly what the President (US President Donald Trump) and Kim Jong Un jointly agreed to in Singapore, and that is the denuclearization of North Korea", she said.

Meanwhile, soon after Pompeo departed from North Korea on Saturday, senior officials in Pyongyang, in a statement released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), blasted Pompeo's perhaps overly optimistic views about the talks.

Afterwards, state media carried a statement saying the U.S. had gone against the spirit of the summit by acting unilaterally to put pressure on the country.

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Pyongyang said the outcome of the talks was "very concerning" because it initiated a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm".

But North Korea was careful not to criticize the USA president specifically, emphasizing that "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump".

Earlier reports pointed to progress being made between the two countries, with commitments for new discussions on denuclearisation and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on Sunday. It is believed to be a negotiating tactic by the North Koreans.

"The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize what we have achieved", he said. "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", he said. It also offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site that would "physically affirm" a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles and setting up working-level discussions for the return of USA war remains.

Despite the NBC report and North Korea's statement, Pompeo still claimed the rogue nation is committed to dismantling its nuclear program. Trump pledged a halt to large-scale military drills with South Korea during denuclearisation talks with North Korea.

The talks are part of a broader US initiative to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet with North Korean officials soon to continue negotiations. Washington and Pyongyang have yet to negotiate a plan for how North Korea will denuclearize.

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.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has accused Beijing of being behind Pyongyang's condemnation of recent talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while handing out weird threats to North Korea's leadership.

"Sanctions will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearisation as agreed to by Chairman Kim (Jong Un) occurs", Pompeo said, adding that the U.S. would seek to smooth the path by providing security guarantees requested by Pyongyang. Pompeo responded, "There are things that I have to clarify as well". Pompeo departed for Tokyo on Saturday afternoon and did not speak to Kim Jong Un on this trip as he has in the past, according to Nauert.

Both issues are considered essential tests of whether Kim is serious about talks.

Director for Korea policy at the National Security Council (NSC) Allison Hooker and Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Alex Wong were also present.

Pompeo replied: "Yes, I agree".

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