Pompeo lauds progress in DPRK visit, but Pyongyang says talks regrettable

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

"I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding", said CNN global affairs analyst Joseph Yun, a former top USA diplomat on North Korea policy.

The statement came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up his trip to Pyongyang aimed at hashing out measures to implement the June 12 summit agreement in Singapore, during which their leaders agreed to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This miracle can be yours.

Pompeo shrugged off the statement Sunday following separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea - although he didn't disagree with the nature of the U.S.'s "gangster-like" requests.

Arriving on Friday for his third visit and first overnight stay, he left en route to brief his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in an upbeat frame of mind on Saturday.

The North's statement, which came hours after Pompeo wrapped up the Pyongyang talks, accused the U.S. of trying to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons. The statement was sure to fuel growing skepticism in the US and elsewhere over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal. "If it's not true, then we go back to the other way, but I don't think that's going to be necessary".

Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met Kim Jong-un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although U.S. officials had suggested such a meeting was expected.

Among these issues, she added, will be verifying the North's efforts to achieve denuclearization.

"The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know that critics will try to minimise the work that we've achieved".

Pompeo said the two sides agreed to hold discussions on July 12 on the repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, and also discussed "modalities" for the destruction of a missile engine testing facility.

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Saturday saw Nauert say discussions had also involved the issue of the repatriation of US service members who died during the Korean War.

Pompeo wanted to agree on at least an initial list of nuclear sites and an inventory that could be checked against the available intelligence, US intelligence officials told Reuters earlier.

He reiterated President Donald Trump's pledge to boost North Korea's economy and provide it with security assurances in exchange for Kim giving up nuclear weapons.

"What concerns me at this stage is the secretary of state flying all the way from Washington to Pyongyang to try to engage in detailed working-level negotiations as an ongoing approach to negotiating denuclearization", said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. 'While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the easing of the sanctions regime, ' he said.

After Trump's historic summit with Kim in Singapore last month, the president declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of American soldiers.

Pompeo, accompanied by senior State Department and Central Intelligence Agency officials, held several hours of talks on Friday evening and had a working dinner with Kim Yong Chol at which both were "cracking jokes" and "exchanging pleasantries", according to Nauert.

The U.S. "came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization, just calling for CVID, declaration and verification, all of which run counter to the spirit of the Singapore summit and talks", KCNA quoted a spokesman at the North's Foreign Ministry as saying.

Afterwards, state media carried a statement saying the U.S. had gone against the spirit of the summit by acting unilaterally to put pressure on the country. "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.

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