North Korea’s Foreign Ministry accused the Trump administration of pushing a “gangster-like demand for denuclearization.” But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the talks “productive.”
PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea accused the Trump administration on Saturday of pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization” and called it “deeply regrettable,” hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his two days of talks in the North Korean capital were “productive.”
Despite the criticism, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, still wanted to build on the “friendly relationship and trust” forged with President Trump during their summit meeting in Singapore on June 12. The ministry said Mr. Kim had written a personal letter to Mr. Trump, reiterating that trust.
The two sides have a history of veering between harsh talk and conciliation. Mr. Trump briefly called off the Singapore summit meeting over what he called North Korea’s “open hostility,” only to declare it back on after receiving what he called a “very nice letter” from Mr. Kim.
On Saturday, Mr. Pompeo and his entourage offered no immediate evidence that they had come away with anything tangible to show that North Korea was willing to surrender its nuclear and missile weapons programs. He did not meet with Mr. Kim but held talks with Kim Yong-chol, a senior official who has been country’s point person in talks with the United States, South Korea and China.
“These are complicated issues, but we made progress on almost all of the central issues,” Mr. Pompeo said before boarding a plane for Tokyo. He called the meetings “productive.”
But the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s assessment was decidedly less upbeat.
“The attitude and demands from the U.S. side during the high-level talks were nothing short of deeply regrettable,” the ministry said, accusing American “working-level” officials of trying to destroy the agreement struck in Singapore.