U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hopes the United States can one day share the same level of partnership with North Korea as it does with Vietnam, despite Hanoi's ideological differences and past conflicts with the U.S.
Speaking in Tokyo after holding meetings in Pyongyang, Pompeo said Washington would continue enforcing sanctions until North Korea carried out "fully verified final denuclearisation".
Pyongyang said the outcome of the talks was "very concerning" because it initiated a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm".
"We had expected that the USA side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit ..." Instead, the statement said, the United States had continued its calls for "CVID": complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
By analyzing the results of Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang, Japanese officials are trying to gauge how seriously North Korea is committing itself to the "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" as agreed in the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore.
Pompeo said his meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, produced progress and they talked "a great deal" about a potential timeline for the denuclearization process.
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The trip was Pompeo's third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono have reconfirmed how the two nations will work together, in coordination with South Korea, in a joint effort to achieve a denuclearized North Korea.
However, the president has since renewed sanctions on North Korea, while U.S. intelligence officials have said there is evidence North Korea continues to upgrade the infrastructure for its nuclear and missile programmes. Rather than announcing any concrete achievements, the most Pompeo seemed able to deliver on Saturday was the promise of more talks. He added, "While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the relaxation of the existing sanctions regime". He and Kim Yong Chol met for almost three hours Friday and then had dinner.
"Pompeo had met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in his two previous visits, . but not this time". "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", said Pompeo, according to a pool report from US reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang.
There is little love lost between Scarborough and the president, with Trump previously hitting out at the presenters, dubbing them "Psycho Joe" and "low I.Q. Crazy Mika", the latter of whom he claimed "was bleeding badly from a face-lift" while visiting Mar-a-Lago around New Year's Eve. Suggesting that the United States needed to find a special negotiator to meet continuously with the North Koreans, Wit said that it was "a fantasy to think that this can be done overnight" but that it could be done eventually.
Kim later said that "there are things that I have to clarify", to which Pompeo responded that "there are things that I have to clarify as well".
Yet three weeks later, the two sides were still divided on all the issues, including exactly what denuclearization means and how it might be verified.