North Korea Slams 'Gangster-Like' US Demands After Pompeo Visit

Hannah Rogers
July 9, 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, a senior North Korean ruling party official, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang on Saturday.

Nevertheless, Mr. Pompeo left Pyongyang saying the two sides had made progress. "It can be your miracle in North Korea as well", Pompeo said.

"We now have a meeting set up for 12 July. I appreciate that and I look forward to our continued conversations today as well".

In recent days, intelligence reports have shown that North Korea is continuing work at a key rocket-engine facility.

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.

In a fiery escalation, North Korea on Saturday accused the US of a "gangster-like mindset" in high-level negotiations over denuclearization, a glaring contradiction of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's description of the talks as "productive". Pompeo, speaking at a press conference with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, said he had "lengthy discussions" about complete denuclearisation with North Korean officials. She said the dinner lasted an hour and 45 minutes and at times the two were "cracking jokes" and "exchanging pleasantries".

The talks were held at a large villa inside an official compound in Pyongyang, close to the imposing mausoleum where North Korea's former helmsmen Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il - the current leader's grandfather and father - lie in state. They buy $100 billion from us.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has accused Beijing of being behind Pyongyang's condemnation of recent talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while handing out freaky threats to North Korea's leadership.

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Mr Pompeo said in Tokyo there was still a lot of work to do but he was confident North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would stick to a commitment to abandon nuclear weapons that he made during a summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore last month. "The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization", the North Korean statement said.

The rhetoric issued by North Korea following the Pompeo meetings showed a return to sharp, provocative language, dangling the possibility of war if the USA continued to make demands.

Pompeo and Kim met for almost three hours Friday and then had dinner amid growing skepticism over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his summit with Trump into concrete action.

Pompeo, however, said more talks were needed on both.

Some U.S. experts said the disputes highlight the risk of Trump granting premature concessions to North Korea. But he also had to assuage anxious Asian allies after Trump said he would be stopping U.S.

Ahead of the summit, Pompeo said Trump would reject anything short of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization".

His comments followed two days of frosty talks in Pyongyang aimed at persuading Kim to give up nuclear weapons, which prompted North Korean accusations he had used "gangster-like" diplomacy.

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster", said Pompeo, noting that USA demands for North Korea to denuclearize were supported by a consensus at the U.N. Security Council.

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