North Korea: Mike Pompeo rejects 'gangster-like' accusation

Blanche Robertson
July 9, 2018

"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster", Pompeo said, as he noted that the U.N. Security Council has demanded numerous times that the North dispose of its nuclear weapons and end its ballistic missile program.

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.

In a fiery escalation, North Korea on Saturday accused the US of a "gangster-like mindset" in high-level negotiations over denuclearization, a glaring contradiction of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's description of the talks as "productive".

But shortly after he left Pyongyang, North Korea issued an angry statement rejecting what it described as Washington's "gangster-like" demand for rapid nuclear disarmament. "It can be your miracle in North Korea as well", Mr Pompeo said.

Pompeo also said that the United States was working to ensure the security assurances that the North Koreans need to continue with denuclearization. "People are going to make certain comments after meetings".

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".

TRT World spoke with Micheal Penn, who brings more from Tokyo on the disagreements between Washington and Pyongyang. He also admitted that the "road ahead will be hard and challenging".

He said North Korea understood that denuclearization must be "fully verified" and "final".

However, Pompeo said the progress achieved thus far did not warrant any concessions.

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US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo did not meet Kim, as he had done on his two previous visits to North Korea this year, but handed over a letter to him from Trump.

Speaking in Tokyo, Pompeo said his efforts to push the North on disarmament had the backing of the entire global community.

An unnamed spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry, in the statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, said: "The US side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearisation, just calling for CVID, declaration and verification, all of which run counter to the spirit of the Singapore summit meeting and talks".

Mr Pompeo said Vietnam's experience since the normalisation of relations with the United States in 1995 should be proof for North Korea that prosperity and partnership with the USA is possible after decades of conflict and mistrust. "This began when the U.S. - the United States and Vietnam began working together to repatriate the remains of American service members lost in Vietnam", he said. "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.

However, the North Korean Foreign Ministry later released a lengthy statement that criticized the USA focus on nuclear weapons.

"So if were President Trump I would not let China use North Korea to back me off of the trade dispute".

"The settlement of outstanding issues surrounding North Korea, including nuclear, missile and abduction, will be extremely important to Japan, and that will also be extremely important for regional peace and stability", Abe said at the outset of the talks. "I am determined to achieve the commitment that President Trump made and I am counting on Chairman Kim to be determined to follow through on the commitment that he made", Pompeo said.

Pompeo was in Pyongyang last week to flesh out that deal. "If you make the Americans fight for every inch, the Americans will start measuring progress in inches - and will wind up paying by the inch".

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