Pompeo dismisses claim of 'gangster-like' North Korea talks

By Daniel Uria  |  Updated July 8, 2018 at 1:05 PM
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July 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that denuclearization conversations between the United States and North Korea were productive, despite North Korea describing the talks as disappointing.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo with his Japanese and South Korean Pompeo responded directly to North Korea's Foreign Ministry's comment, after his two-day trip to Pyongyang, that the U.S. employed a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization."

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster," Pompeo said. "We had detailed, substantive conversations about the next steps toward a fully verified and complete denuclearization."

He added "stray comments" are commonplace after such meetings and cited media coverage as the reason for the discrepancy between his assessment of the talks and the comments made by North Korea's Foreign Ministry.

"If I paid attention to what the press said, I'd go nuts. I am determined to achieve the commitment that President Trump made, and I'm counting on chairman Kim to be determined to follow through on the commitment that he made," Pompeo said.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United States' demands for CVID, or verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North's nuclear program, went against the spirit of the June 12 summit agreement between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Pompeo said he was willing to grant some concessions to North Korea during the country's denuclearization process in pursuit of further improving relations between the two countries, but added economic sanctions are " a different kettle of fish altogether."

"So the world will see continued enforcement actions by the United States in the days and weeks ahead," he said. "We're counting on those other countries that are with me today and others around the world to continue to enforce these sanctions as well."

He also assured North Korea remains committed to dismantling its nuclear program following the summit.

"There will be a verification connected to the complete denuclearization, that's what President Trump and Chairman Kim both agreed to," he said.

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