North Korea says talks with Pompeo were 'regrettable'

08 Juillet, 2018, 09:15 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Mike Pompeo addresses the media before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

The North Korean statement contradicted remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said just hours after departing North Korea that the two countries had made progress on several key issues.

Pompeo's visit to North Korea forced the United States to postpone a planned meeting of usa and Indian defense and foreign ministers, so expectations were high among Japanese and South Korean officials that Pompeo would meet with Kim Jong Un during the two-day visit.

"I'm not going to get into the details of our conversations but we spent a good deal of our time talking about each of those two things and I think we made progress in every element of our discussion", Pompeo told reporters. Some places, a great deal of progress.

There had been previous signs that all was not well on the diplomatic front during Pompeo's trip, which marked the most most significant engagement between the countries since the Trump-Kim summit on June 12 in Singapore.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Pompeo did not meet Kim Jong-un during his visit, but he handed over a letter to the North Korean leader from Trump.

The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2018.

From left, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha attend a news conference in Tokyo on July 8.

Senior North Korea official Kim Yong Chol agreed with Pompeo's remarks, adding that there were areas which Pyongyang needed to shed light on.

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The development is "very concerning", the North Koreans said, because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm". A meeting will take place between a team from the Pentagon and North Korea at the South-North border next week, Pompeo explained. North Korea committed at the summit to the "immediate repatriation" of remains already identified, but that hasn't happened yet.

Kim Yong-chol joked that Mr Pompeo may not have slept well during his overnight stay at a guesthouse in Pyongyang.

In addition to demanding that North Korea agree to the complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of its nuclear weapons and missile programmes, Abe has made the return of any abductees still in North Korea or a full disclosure of their fates a condition for providing any major economic assistance. Kim ended Pompeo's visit on a positive note, telling the top USA diplomat just before he boarded his plane, "We will produce an outcome, results".

One hoped-for breakthrough on this trip would have been the return of the remains of USA troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", Kim said, through a translator.

"But through the high-level talks, the trust between the DPRK and the United States is facing a risky situation where our resolve for denuclearisation, which has been firm and steadfast, may falter".

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter there was a danger military action could be called for because Trump might now claim he had tried diplomacy but was betrayed by Kim.

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