Published: Tue, July 10, 2018

North Korea says United States 'gangster-like' over denuclearisation

North Korea says United States 'gangster-like' over denuclearisation

Former New Mexico governor and veteran diplomat Bill Richardson said on Sunday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is "two for three" in his dealings with North Korea, despite accusations from the Hermit Kingdom that he engaged in "gangster-like" behavior during a recent visit.

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

The regime's belief that the weapons are needed to deter a U.S. attack dates back almost 70 years to the still-unresolved Korean War, and will take more than a handshake to dispel.

Despite what he described as progress, Mr Pompeo said the results so far did not warrant any easing of sanctions, which he said would be enforced "with vigour" until North Korea follows through with denuclearisation.

He said North Korea understood that denuclearisation must be "complete" and "verified".

As diplomatic engagement increases contact between the two Koreas and reduces hostility across the border, authorities may be anxious ordinary North Koreans might view the South favorably.

He added that talks would be held soon on the destruction of North Korea's missile engine testing facility.

"So why wouldn't Kim Jong Un dig in his heels with Pompeo and press his advantage?"

"Proving once again that only fools rush in, Trump forced a summit for cheap headlines", Scarborough wrote, continuing the ongoing feud between himself and president Trump.

His optimism, however, came in marked contrast to how the North perceived the talks, which had been the highest-level negotiations since the June 12 summit.

He added: "When we spoke to them about denuclearisation, they did not push back".

That appeared to be a reference to Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, a prominent North Korea hawk who has been vilified by Pyongyang in the past.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that the setback in talks between the United States and North Korea could be blamed on China.

North Korea hasn't said publicly what security assurances it would need to get rid of its nuclear weapons, but in the past they have included the withdrawal of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea and an end to US-South Korean military drills.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said her country did not believe Washington had softened its demands, as some US officials and analysts have suggested.

In a tweet, Trump cited an agreement that he and Kim signed during last month's summit in Singapore and said "our handshake" was even more important to his assessment of Kim's commitment.

"Secretary Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang this time has taken the first steps", she said.

"The North Koreans are in the game to get, not to give", said Daniel Russel, the top USA diplomat for East Asia until a year ago.

"But the economic sanctions are a different kettle of fish altogether. the world will see continued enforcement actions by the United States in the days and weeks ahead", Pompeo said.

This, he said, has "stoked distrust and increased the danger of war".

About 7,700 U.S. military personnel remain unaccounted from the Korean War, U.S. military data shows.

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