Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Trump says NK will honour denuclearisation 'contract'

North Korea says it won’t bow down to “gangster-like” U.S. on denuclearization Pompeo shrugs off NKorea's 'gangster' rebuke, cites...
Ellis Copeland | 10 July, 2018, 08:45

North Korea has said the "attitude" of the United States was regrettable and not in the spirit of the June 12 summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", he added.

'The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize what we have achieved, ' he said.

Trump's characterization of the 1½ page joint statement as a contract also raised eyebrows, with some experts saying the USA president appeared to be trying to shift the blame for the slow progress with the North Koreans on China. He maintained that his third visit to North Korea Friday and Saturday had produced results. "While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the relaxation of the existing sanctions regime".

North Korea, however, issued a harsh characterization of the negotiations, raising questions about the future talks as United States officials seek an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

In Tokyo, Pompeo briefed his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the talks, and sought to reassure them that the dialogue with North Korea would continue. The US will have a harder time reapplying pressure after Kim used his detente with Trump to improve ties with key neighbors such as China and South Korea.

"Most of the time you don't come back with anything".

"Particularly, they have suggested that they are disappointed by the United States insistence on focusing on the denuclearisation plans over what they described as big-picture issues", she said.

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A letter from Kim to Trump was also delivered to Pompeo through Kim Yong-chol, a top North Korean party official.

"The issues the USA side insisted on during the talks were the same cancerous ones that the past US administrations had insisted on", it added. But he also vowed that sanctions would remain until Pyongyang follows through on Kim's pledge to get rid of his atomic weapons. North Korea, in its post-Pompeo talks statement, played down the importance of the move, describing it as a "highly reversible step which can be resumed anytime at any moment as all of its military force remains intact in its previously held positions".

President Donald Trump was accused of forcing the North Korea summit "for cheap headlines" by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who said POTUS had made himself "look like a fool". "The choice now lies with North Korea and its people".

Some analysts and lawmakers have expressed alarm that the talks appear to have run into difficulties, although others see a possible North Korean negotiating ploy.

The statement included a personal appeal to the USA president: "We still cherish our good faith in President Trump", it said.

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".

One mistake Richardson said the USA made in its negotiations with Pyongyang was "going first" and announcing the termination of some military exercises with South Korea.

In a tweet, Trump cited an agreement that he and Kim signed during last month's summit in Singapore and said "our handshake" was even more important to his assessment of Kim's commitment.

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