Who called it? North Korea talks described as ‘regrettable’ and ‘productive’

Mike Pompeo addresses the media before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

Mike Pompeo addresses the media before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang

He said "We made progress on nearly all the central issues", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert noted on Twitter. He stressed that "there's still more work to be done" in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides have set up to deal with specific issues.

Pompeo then sat down again with Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean party official and former spy agency chief who played a key role with Pompeo in arranging the June 12 summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

North Korea said Saturday that high-level talks with a us delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were "regrettable" and accused Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nukes.

The North Korean delegation said Saturday the high-level discussions were "regrettable" and accused the USA delegation of strong-arming North Korea into unilateral denuclearization without offering anything in return.

However, he has since renewed sanctions on North Korea, while United States intelligence officials have said there is evidence North Korea continues to upgrade the infrastructure for its nuclear and missile programmes.

Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks in the North Korean capital on Saturday on an optimistic note even without meeting Kim Jong Un, as he had on his previous two trips.

Before events in Pyongyang had concluded, Nauert told reporters that Pompeo had been "very firm" in insisting that North Korea fulfills its commitment to "complete denuclearisation".

When a reporter asked about North Korea's Saturday comments, Pompeo didn't seem too bothered.

Update at 2000 KST: This article has been amended with the latest developments on Pompeo's visit North Korean and USA officials held a second day of meetings in Pyongyang on Saturday, with both sides saying there several key issues they need to "clarify".

Kim Yong-chol joked that Mr Pompeo may not have slept well during his overnight stay at a guesthouse in Pyongyang. However, contrary to South Korean media reports, Nauert said Pompeo did not leave Kim a CD with the Elton John song "Rocket Man" - a nickname Trump has used to refer to Kim.

North Korea has branded the U.S. attitude at the latest talks over its nuclear programme "regrettable" and "extremely troubling". He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realize economic benefits in return.

The statement came hours after Mr Pompeo departed for Tokyo after meetings led by Mr Kim Yong Chol, a senior aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Following this summit, a joint statement from Trump and Kim said both sides remained committed to denuclearization.

The statement claimed the two countries' gestures of goodwill since the summit were lopsided in their significance, comparing North Korea's "irreversible step" of dismantling its nuclear test site with the American move to suspend military exercises, "which can be resumed any time at any moment". But except for hardcore Trump followers, most foreign policy mavens says his methods won't work against the experienced bait and switch policy North Korea has followed for years in what it perceives as its national interest.

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