Just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that his talks during the past two days with the North Korean government were "productive" and beneficial regarding "central issues", the communist nation's Foreign Ministry categorically disagreed, calling the meetings in Pyongyang "regrettable".
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pauses while speaking to members of the media following two days of meetings with Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang on July 7, 2018.
But ever since the announcement of that summit, experts on North Korea have warned that Kim was very unlikely to give up his nuclear arsenal altogether, since it is his prime source of leverage against the rest of the world.
A statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the United States' "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization" and suggested the talks "brought us in a unsafe situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust between the DPRK and the U.S".
On his flight to Pyongyang, Pompeo said both sides made commitments at the Singapore summit on the complete denuclearisation of North Korea and on what a transformed relationship between their two countries might look like.
He said the key to Vietnam's rise was post-Vietnam War engagement with the United States, which began in 1985, when the countries started working together to repatriate remains of US service members lost in Vietnam. "Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish".
Pompeo had characterised the meeting as a success, but critically he failed to present any new details as to how North Korea would honour its summit commitment to "denuclearise" in exchange for United States security guarantees.
Whether the North will set a concrete time line for denuclearization and honestly declare all of its facilities related to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs will be the very first and perhaps the most important steps for denuclearization, multiple senior officials at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo have said.
As Saturday's meeting got under way Kim Yong-chol joked that Mr Pompeo may not have slept well during his overnight stay at a guesthouse in Pyongyang.
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Meanwhile, North Korea says it disagrees with the USA calls for denuclearization, and called the discussions with Pompeo very concerning. -North Korea talks, as both sides were coming to the table with fundamentally different views of what they were bargaining with.
United States negotiators and their North Korean counterparts discussed the idea of Pyongyang making a full declaration of its weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and setting a timeline for giving them up, Pompeo said on Saturday.
The meetings were meant to hammer out details toward achieving the goals in a joint statement by Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump after their summit, in which the USA would provide security commitments for North Korea in exchange for "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert added that this meeting will be held at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom, involving working-level officials including those from the Defense Department.
The danger now is that if happens if Trump finds that North Korea isn't willing to bend to his most unrealistic demands, the countries could find themselves in an even more unstable position than where they started.
Pompeo could point to no concrete achievement from the talks, aside from an agreement for the two sides to meet again around July 12 in Panmunjom, the border village between the two Koreas, to discuss returning the remains of USA soldiers from the 1950-1953 Korean War.
"We still cherish our good faith in President Trump", the spokesman said. "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.
Professor Yang Moo-Jin at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul said Pyongyang wants to separate "US bureaucrats from President Trump, expressing trust in him".
"I think we made progress in every element of our discussions", he added.
He added that the United States also has to partner with Turkey to maintain a US troop presence in northeastern Syria to ward off Iran.