North Korean, US officials seek clarity in second day of Pyongyang talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Kim Yong Chol second from right in Pyongyang on July 7

Pompeo downplayed North Korea's statement after the talks in which the country's foreign ministry bashed hopes for a quick deal and accused the USA of making "gangster-like" demands aimed at forcing it to abandon nuclear weapons.

She stressed that USA policy hasn't changed, but did not explain why they're not using the phrase "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" - a phrase Pompeo himself used leading up to the historic summit between Kim Jong Un and Trump in Singapore on June 12.

Pompeo on Sunday said if the US' actions were "gangster-like" then the "world is a gangster" because the United Nations supported sanctions against the regime over its nuclear weapons program.

Pyongyang's criticism of the meeting with the secretary of state was at odds with Pompeo's initial assessment that the talks over denuclearization were productive.

Remarkably, the North Korean foreign ministry seemed taken aback by the USA calls that it abandon its nuclear arsenal - ostensibly the entire point behind last month's meeting in Singapore between Trump and Kim.

Pompeo's visit to North Korea has led to the launch of working groups to deal with details such as verification. "We're in a fight with China", he said. Pompeo, who did not meet with leader Kim Jong-un on this trip, could point to no concrete achievement from the talks aside from an agreement for the two sides to meet around July 12 in Panmunjom, the border village between the two Koreas, to discuss returning the remains of United States soldiers from the 1950-53 Korean War.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the importance of a comprehensive resolution of issues related to North Korea during his meeting with Pompeo.

The secretary of state said, he spent "a good deal of time" talking about a denuclearization timeline and missile facilities.

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"So the work that we do, the path toward complete denuclearization, building a relationship between our two countries, is vital for a brighter North Korea and the success that our two presidents demand of us", he added. There are signs that North Korea has been expanding some missile manufacturing sites. During the trilateral meeting in Tokyo, Kono thanked Pompeo for that, a senior Foreign Ministry official said later on 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.

But, Bennett said, that doesn't mean it's a bad idea to talk to them - as long as the administration makes consequences clear and holds North Korean leadership's feet to the fire.

The secretary said: "I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", according to the report.

Abraham Denmark, a senior defence official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said: "This is a rejection of United States demands for unilateral denuclearisation by North Korea, and a clear message that the United States will need to give up more to make progress".

Pompeo did not meet Kim as he had done on two previous visits to North Korea this year but handed over a letter to him from Trump.

On Sunday, the USA secretary of state will meet the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea in Tokyo. "We pushed them really hard to live up to the commitments of the president, and they may be reacting to save face", a source, who asked not to be named, told ABC News.

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