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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.

Speaking Thursday aboard Air Force One on a trip to Montana, Trump said he still believes Kim will follow through on his promise to denuclearize and that he forged a personal connection with the leader at their Singapore summit last month.

His rosy outlook was nearly immediately rejected by North Korea's foreign ministry, which called the US attitude to the talks "regrettable" and accused the United States of making unilateral demands for denuclearization.

After he met Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, Pompeo said he was in Tokyo to discuss the USA alliance with Japan and maintaining "maximum pressure" on North Korea, an expression Trump's administration had backed away from after the Singapore summit.

"We were able to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the continued strengthening of our trilateral cooperation toward the common goal of North Korea's complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement" of all nuclear weapons and missiles, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a joint press conference.

Abraham Denmark, a senior defense official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said: "This is a rejection of US demands for unilateral denuclearisation by North Korea, and a clear message that the USA will need to give up more to make progress".

Two days of talks with senior North Korean officials had "made progress", he said, and included a "detailed and substantive discussion about the next steps". It wasn't my language, it was the language of Chairman Kim, he committed to complete denuclearisation.

However, he emphasized that the North still has trust in the US President, apparently hinting that Pyongyang wanted to keep the ongoing denuclearization talks on track. He had said progress was made during the talks.

North Korea said it offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site, which would "physically affirm" a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles, and setting up working-level discussions for the return of U.S. war remains. They buy $100 billion from us.

The North statement contradicted the version of events given by Pompeo just hours before.

'Dealing with North Korea is hard because Kim Jong Un wants it to be hard, ' said Russel, who was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration.

Mr. Pompeo entered the talks determined to put some meat on the bone of the Singapore agreement, such as getting a full inventory of Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal and a process for verifying the dismantling.

"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake", Trump wrote. -North Korea summit in Singapore, President Donald Trump declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of American soldiers.

The US politician did not meet with North Korea's leader during this visit. Pompeo never definitively said he would not meet with Kim. "The miracle could be yours; it can be your miracle in North Korea as well".

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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