According to the Washington Post, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shot back against a recent North Korean criticism which said the U.S. came to the negotiating table with a “gangster-like” attitude during the two-day talks with Kim Yong Chol, stating that claim was unfounded.
“If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster,” said Pompeo at a newsconference on Sunday. He noted that U.S. demands for North Korea to denuclearize were supported by a consensus among U.N. Security Council members.
Pompeo also reiterated that he thought the two sides had made progress during the meeting and that his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, negotiated in “good faith”, reflecting his initial statement to the media after the meeting.
Just before leaving Pyongyang, @SecPompeo gives US reporters a brief readout from his meetings. “These are complicated issues but we made progress on almost all the central issues. Some places, a great deal of progress, other places, there’s still more work to be done.” pic.twitter.com/wiP0J1447N
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) July 7, 2018
He also added that the United States would maintain economic sanctions against North Korea until full denuclearization was achieved.
Mike Pompeo seemed to have really read the room incorrectly after the important meeting with Kim Yong Chol. Just hours after Pompeo concluded his talks, the North Korea Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the talks with Pompeo were “regrettable” and accused Washington of making “gangster-like” demands to pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.
BREAKING: North Korea Foreign Ministry says talks with Pompeo 'regrettable,' accuses US of unilateral demands for denuclearization.
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 7, 2018
Pompeo downplayed North Korea’s criticism on Sunday, telling a reporter that Pyongyang did not have an issue with the idea of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID)— despite the fact that the report stated that the meeting was “very concerning” because it has set the tone for a “dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearisation that had been firm.”
“It’s a broad definition,” Pompeo said, speaking about CVID . “The North Koreans understand that and have not challenged that.” As well as reading the room incorrectly, he also seems to have missed that last piece of the memo about the North Korean’s willingness for denuclearization. “Rattle our willingness for denuclearization” sounds like a challenge to the idea, doesn’t it?