U.S.

North Korea: Talks with Pompeo ‘Regrettable’ After Secretary of State Calls Them 'Productive'

North Korea is calling talks conducted over the past few days with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other high-level U.S. officials “regrettable,” just hours after Pompeo described the discussions as “productive.”

An unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson accused the U.S. of trying to make unilateral demands that the country submits to complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, according to the Associated Press.

Pompeo was in North Korea for the past two days meeting with various government officials to discuss details about denuclearization following last month’s summit where North Korea agreed to begin talks of stopping its nuclear weapons program. Pompeo also discussed securing the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War. However, the secretary of state did not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Despite Pompeo calling the talks “productive, good faith negotiations” and that “a great deal of progress” had been made, North Korean officials said otherwise just hours after he departed from Pyongyang, possibly hinting that the country may not be willing to denuclearize. 

North Korea claimed the U.S. betrayed last month’s summit, calling this new round of talks “very concerning.” The North Korean official said denuclearization demands led to a “dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm,” AP reported.

Pompeo seemed to think otherwise. When asked by a reporter about whether recent satellite images showing North Korea continuing to make upgrades to its main nuclear research facility were discussed, Pompeo said Kim was still “equally committed” to denuclearization negotiations.

“We talked about what North Koreans are continuing to do and how it’s the case we can get our arms around achieving what Chairman Kim and President Trump both agreed to, which was complete denuclearization of North Korea,” Pompeo said. “No one walked away from that. They’re still equally committed.”

Pompeo reportedly said a Pentagon team would be meeting with North Korean officials on July 12 to discuss further denuclearization options.

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