North Korea says U.S. position on denuclearization "regrettable" after Pompeo talks

Pompeo seeks clarity in denuclearization talks with NKorea

North Korea nuclear deal: Pompeo sees 'progress' after talks

The tough statement comes hours after Pompeo said progress with North Korea had been made "on nearly all of the central issues" including denuclearisation, although he insisted that work still needed to be done.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry statement called on both sides to take simultaneous actions to improve the environment surrounding the talks.

Last month, at a historic summit with US President Donald Trump, Kim agreed to "work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" in return for security guarantees and an end to a unsafe stand-off with US forces.

Pompeo, who has now made three visits to Pyongyang, began the outreach when he was still Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director and remained the pointman on negotiations after the process became public and he became secretary of state.

North Korea's latest comments, which came after Mr Pompeo said talks had made progress, are a reminder of the difficulties that previous U.S. administrations have had negotiating with the reclusive Stalinist state and suggest that Pyongyang may not agree to any rapid denuclearisation.

He admitted "there's still more work to be done" in other areas.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert tweeted that Pompeo spoke briefly before leaving Pyongyang.

Still, Pompeo gave assurances Saturday that North Korea is still committed to dismantling their nuclear program despite satellite images analyzed by researchers in the United States as infrastructure improvements to a nuclear facility and the finalizing of a ballistic missile manufacturing site.

North Korea blasted Pompeo and the high-level talks held in the capital of Pyongyang, saying the attitude of the USA was "regrettable".

"The settlement of the outstanding issues of concern surrounding North Korea, including the nuclear, missile and abduction issues, will be extremely important for Japan and also extremely important for peace and stability in the world", Pompeo told Abe.

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Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs, Pompeo spent the night at a government guest house in Pyongyang after a three-hour dinner with Kim Yong Chol, something the North Korean official alluded to in comments as they began their talks.

What did the Trump administration say?

President Trump may have declared diplomatic victory immediately after his cordial June meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Earlier rumors during the week stated the State Department's objectives in North Korea had changed and that the Sec. of State may be willing to forgo complete denuclearization. "I expect that the DPRK is ready to do the same", Pompeo said.

Just before Pompeo's arrival, the North's state-run media slammed Washington over its criticism of the North's human rights record.

However, he has since renewed sanctions on North Korea, while United States intelligence officials have said there is evidence North Korea continues to upgrade the infrastructure for its nuclear and missile programmes. But he also had to assuage anxious Asian allies after Trump said he would be stopping U.S.

Analysts said that North Korea's statement was not unexpected but that there may indeed be a long way to go in U.S.

The US is also seeking to repatriate the remains of American soldiers missing in North Korea for nearly 70 years.

Before events in Pyongyang had concluded, Nauert told reporters that Pompeo had been "very firm" in insisting that North Korea fulfills its commitment to "complete denuclearisation".

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