Mike Pompeo dismisses North Korea's 'gangster' comments, says talks are going well

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2018

Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met with Kim Jong Un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although United States officials had suggested such a meeting was expected.

Trump tweeted Monday "we agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea" and suggested China "may be exerting negative pressure" on North Korea because of an escalating trade dispute between the USA and China. But he tweeted, "Hope Not!"

Just five hours after Pompeo left Pyongyang, a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry in a statement complained, "The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization, just calling for. declaration and verification, all of which run counter to the spirit of the Singapore summit meeting and talks" on June 12.

"When we spoke to them about denuclearization, they did not push back", Pompeo told a news conference after two days of talks in Pyongyang that ended on Saturday.

"North Korea expected Pompeo to bring a concrete proposal for security guarantee but it was disappointed as the USA side reiterated the old demand that the North should denuclearise first before the U.S. gives it anything in return".

Pompeo downplayed North Korea's accusation that the USA had made "gangster-like" demands that it abandon its nuclear program and that their talks were "regrettable".

The U.S.is "fatally mistaken" if it thinks North Korea can be pressured into accepting its demands, the statement continued, adding that a breakdown in the North Korean-U.S. relationship would mean "there is no guarantee that this will not result in yet another tragedy".

Pompeo spoke after North Korea said the talks "brought us in a unsafe situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust".

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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".

Pompeo downplayed a harshly critical North Korean statement after the talks in which the country's foreign ministry bashed hopes for a quick deal and attacked the U.S. for making unreasonable and extortionate demands aimed at forcing it to abandon nuclear weapons.

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

President Trump said he has "confidence" North Korea's leader will abide by their agreement to denuclearize despite the regime's comments characterizing USA behavior in the ongoing negotiations as "gangster-like".

"On [July] 3, a lecture explaining how South Korea is a decaying and diseased society was held for locals", said Daily NK's source in North Hamgyong Province. "We're in a fight with China".

The talks came as the U.S, imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese imports, triggering fears of a full-blown trade war.

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

Robert Gallucci, formerly a U.S. ambassador-at-large and chief United States negotiator with North Korea in 1994, agreed that expectations for peace after the Singapore summit were overblown. "We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea", Trump wrote on Twitter.

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