North Korea Calls Latest Nuke Talks "Regrettable"

Tension on display as US delegation meets with North Korea for second day

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 US employed a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization".

Update at 2000 KST: This article has been amended with the latest developments on Pompeo's visit North Korean and US officials held a second day of meetings in Pyongyang on Saturday, with both sides saying there several key issues they need to "clarify".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, reacting to the provocative statement from North Korea, said that if Washington's demands were "gangster-like", then the world is a gangster.

"Across the range of weapons and missiles, it's a broad definition of denuclearisation, and the North Koreans understand that and have not challenged that", he said.

The talks between Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol were the first high-level, face-to-face meetings since Trump and Kim Jong Un met last month in Singapore, where they reached an agreement to work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, among other things. "If I paid attention to the press, I'd go nuts".

(L to R) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korea's Foreign Minsiter Kang Kyung-wha in Tokyo. And, he and other USA officials said the two countries, still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War, had set up working groups to deal with details of an agreement.

North Korea's statement bashed hopes for a quick deal and is sure to fuel growing skepticism in the US over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.

"If they are able to do this, they will be remembered, and Chairman Kim will be remembered, as a hero of the Korean people", Mr Pompeo said.

The danger now is that if happens if Trump finds that North Korea isn't willing to bend to his most unrealistic demands, the countries could find themselves in an even more unstable position than where they started.

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"But we did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday", said Kim via an interpreter.

Those include the formation of a working group to determine exactly how North Korea's denuclearisation will be verified and a Thursday meeting with Pentagon officials to discuss the return of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

"One thing I wouldn't give up is presence in South Korea or the ability to interact with our South Korean allies", Blunt said.

"The United States has been clear about what we seek from North Korea to set in motion this great chain of events", Pompeo said in Hanoi.

He reiterated President Donald Trump's pledge to boost North Korea's economy and provide it with security assurances in exchange for Kim giving up nuclear weapons.

But following talks on Sunday between USA envoy Sung Kim and North Korean counterparts, this "CVID" language appears to have disappeared from the State Department lexicon. "But Washington should not allow nuclear talks to be held hostage to peace talks or else there could be peace with a nuclear-armed North Korea indefinitely". We can hurt them more than they'll hurt us.

Pompeo replied: "Director Kim, I slept just fine".

"Chairman Kim is still committed, I had a chance to speak to President Trump this morning".

Our correspondent at South Korea's foreign ministry, Lee Ji-won, is on the line for us.

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