North Korea blasted the US on Saturday for making what it called "gangster-like" demands in meetings between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Pyongyang officials, calling the attitude and stance of American officials "regrettable".
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) speaks to Kim Yong Chol (foreground), a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, for a second day of talks at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea.
The DPRK felt deep regret over the attitude of the US delegation led by Pompeo at the high-level talks held Friday and Saturday with DPRK officials, a spokesman of the country's Foreign Ministry said.
"However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting [between the countries] was no doubt regrettable", the spokesman said. "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.
But, briefing reporters before flying on to Tokyo, he offered few new details as to how North Korea would honour its commitment to "denuclearise" in exchange for US security guarantees.
"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.
Amid increasing scrutiny of North Korea's commitment to giving up its weapons, Pompeo came to Pyongyang in a bid to hammer out the details of a denuclearization plan. He stressed that "there's still more work to be done" in others, which will be handled by the working groups.
A state department spokesperson said Mr Pompeo had been "very firm" in focusing on denuclearisation, as well as on security assurances and another important U.S. demand - the return of remains of USA service personnel from the Korean War. Trump pledged a halt to large-scale military drills with South Korea during denuclearisation talks with North Korea.
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The US politician did not meet with North Korea's leader during this visit.
It was uncertain whether Pompeo would meet with Kim Jong Un as he did on his previous trips before heading later in the day for Tokyo.
The North's relatively harsh tone contrasts somewhat with what Pompeo said after holding talks with Kim Yong-chol, a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, for two straight days from Friday, though he also admitted that there was "more work to be done".
"The U.S. has to tell Kim Jong Un privately that if he thinks things aren't going well, they could go a lot worse", Bennett told the Herald yesterday.
"Sanctions will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearisation as agreed to by Chairman Kim (Jong Un) occurs", Pompeo said, adding that the United States would seek to smooth the path by providing security guarantees requested by Pyongyang.
Pompeo replied: "Yes, I agree".
In comparison to past worldwide nuclear disarmament negotiations, the discussions between Washington and North Korea on thawing ties and dismantling the North's arsenal appear to be proceeding in reverse.
Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the state department, tweeted a number of photos during the talks, including one of a beaming Mr Pompeo pictured after the final meeting.
However, Pompeo said the progress achieved thus far did not warrant any concessions.