After talks, NKorea accuses US of 'gangster-like' demands

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump said Monday that he was confident North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would "honor the contract" the two leaders signed last month in Singapore, while suggesting that China was "exerting negative pressure" on the agreement amid its trade fight with the U.S.

"These are complicated issues but we made progress on nearly all the central issues", the Secretary of State said.

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

Hours earlier Saturday, North Korea slammed what it called the US' "gangster-like mindset" during the talks, according to a report by state media.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said there was never an expectation that Pompeo would meet with Kim, although other US government officials previously indicated that was the plan.

The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea on Sunday reaffirmed their unity in urging North Korea to denuclearize as promised, despite Pyongyang accusing Washington of making unilateral and "gangster-like" demands.

The statement came shortly after Pompeo said he had made progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in the talks, including on setting a timeline for its denuclearisation, though more work remained to be done.

The top US diplomat continued to describe his conversations with senior North Korean officials as "productive", even as North Korea attacked the USA negotiating stance. "There are things that I have to clarify", Kim, who serves as vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said.

The regime's belief that the weapons are needed to deter a United States attack dates back almost 70 years to the still-unresolved Korean War, and will take more than a handshake to dispel. He had said progress was made during the talks.

Pompeo told the North Korean negotiator that he "slept just fine".

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"We expected the US to bring constructive measures to build confidence in accordance with the spirit of the US-NK Summit", the statement carried by state-run news agency KCNA said.

DPRK is short for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official title.

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. "They cheat. President Trump wants to change the economic relationship with China", Graham said on "Fox News Sunday".

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.

Pompeo said that in past two decades, US bilateral trade with Vietnam had grown 8,000 percent, and American companies had poured in billions of dollars of investments.

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

A former top USA diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, said the setback was to be expected and warned Trump he is engaged in a long negotiation that would not produce easy quick, made for television results that the president likely wants.

Pompeo said the discussion had been productive.

Pompeo said he had pushed North Korea on a promise to destroy a missile engine test site. "We gotta give Pompeo that flexibility to continue these efforts, to push hard and see where we end up", he said.

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