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Sanctions to remain until North Korea 'final' denuclearisation: Mike Pompeo

Sanctions to remain until North Korea 'final' denuclearisation: Mike Pompeo

"We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea", Mr. Trump tweeted.

There has been growing skepticism in the USA over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal, and both sides have said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim reached in Singapore.

When South Korean reporters visiting Pyongyang asked North Korean officials if Xi's visit was confirmed, their response was, "He has to come because we have invited him".

He characterised the discussions as positive, but hours after he left Pyongyang, North Korea issued an angry statement rejecting what it described as Washington's "gangster-like" demand for rapid nuclear disarmament.

Speaking in Tokyo after two days of intense discussions in Pyongyang, Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress and were being conducted in "good faith."

However, the North Korean Foreign Ministry later released a lengthy statement that criticized the USA focus on nuclear weapons.

"Sanctions will remain in place until final fully verified denuclearization as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong-un has occurred", he said.

"That was a fairly serious insult directed against Pompeo", said Christopher Hill, who formerly served as US ambassador to South Korea and lead negotiator with North Korea. He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realise economic benefits in return.

"In principle the interests that the president of the United States has shown is that they want to denuclearise North Korea so their territory is not in danger, and that of course is something that has to do with their own interests", Ojea Quintana told AFP in Seoul. He had said progress was made during the talks.

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Speaking privately, United States officials suggested the harshly-worded North Korean reaction was a negotiating tactic.

"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.

"I was there for the event", Pompeo said Sunday. There are signs the meeting did not go as planned. He said "there is much work for us to do together and I'm honored to be with you here today".

He added: "When we spoke to them about denuclearisation, they did not push back".

Pompeo then sat down again with Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean party official and former spy agency chief who played a key role with Pompeo in arranging the June 12 summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. "Why should the North Koreans make concessions to one of Trump's aides given the president's record of undercutting them?"

Skepticism has grown over how and whether North Korea will dismantle its nuclear weapons program amid USA media reports that the country has continued to develop nuclear facilities.

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'. "It can be your miracle in North Korea as well".

The spokesman apparently rejected the U.S. demand and reiterated Pyongyang's call for a "phased" and "synchronous" approach, saying that it would be the shortest way to realize a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, Yonhap news agency reported.