North Korea reminds Trump its nuclear weapons won't come cheap

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives for a meeting with Kim Yong Chol 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

Trump held a historic summit meeting with Kim in June during which the North Korean leader signed an agreement on denuclearisation.

Pompeo is brushing aside North Korea's accusation of "gangster-like" demands, vowing that sanctions will remain until leader Kim Jong Un's pledge to get rid of his nuclear weapons is met.

5 - Pompeo has highlighted how much economic benefit Vietnam has seen by cooperating with the USA and how North Korea could also follow suit.

When President Donald Trump announced the United States would halt joint military drills with South Korea, he backed his controversial move by citing the "tremendous" costs of such exercises.

Pompeo brushed the negative comments aside during a press briefing in Tokyo on July 8 and again in Afghanistan on July 9, saying that the two sides made progress during the talks.

Those include the formation of a working group to determine exactly how North Korea's denuclearization will be verified and a Thursday meeting with Pentagon officials to discuss the return of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

"We expected that the US side would come with productive measures conducive to building trust in line with the spirit of the North-US summit and (we) considered providing something that would correspond to them", the spokesman said.

Pompeo presented a "unilateral and gangster-like" demand for "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization (CVID), the North's foreign ministry said in a statement issued after his departure.

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But while Pompeo on Saturday painted a positive picture of the follow-up talks, North Korean officials accused the USA of trying to unilaterally pressure their country into abandoning its nuclear programme.

The White House had said Pompeo would meet with the leader, but the encounter did not materialize, and the top US diplomat only met with Kim Yong Chol.

Trump said on Twitter Monday: "I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake".

"Just now you said that some people in the USA associated the inconsistency of the statements made by the DPRK and the United States after their high-level meeting with China's role in the Korean Peninsula issue", she noted.

Practically, assuaging Kim's security fears could require risky choices for the USA and its North Asian allies, such as rolling back America's nuclear umbrella or pulling back its troops in South Korea.

The Japanese top diplomat thanked Pompeo for raising the issue of Japanese nationals abducted to the North decades ago in his meeting with North Koreans.

Mr Trump also expressed doubts about Beijing's attitude toward the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, suggesting that China could play a counterproductive role due to the trade war that has seen the world's two largest economies slap tariffs on each other's goods.

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