US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday shrugged off North Korean accusations of “gangster-like” behavior and said sanctions on Pyongyang would only be lifted with “final” denuclearization.
Speaking in Tokyo after two days of intense discussions in Pyongyang, Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress and were being conducted in “good faith.”
In stark contrast, Pyongyang’s take was overwhelmingly negative, with the North warning that the future of the peace process was being jeopardized by overbearing US demands for its unilateral nuclear disarmament.
Speaking privately, US officials suggested the harshly-worded North Korean reaction was a negotiating tactic. But after two days of theatrical amity in Pyongyang it illustrated the gulf that remains between the two sides.
Pompeo said his efforts to push the North on disarmament had the backing of the entire international community.”If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster, because there was a unanimous decision at the UN Security Council about what needs to be achieved,” he said.