Bolton disputes NK claim he created mistrust at Kim summit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department on Friday in Washington. — AP

Her remarks come as both countries have refused to budge from the diplomatic positions that set them at odds in Hanoi, and as satellite images show that North Korea has rebuilt a satellite launch facility and resumed activity at a site used to assemble intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite-launching rockets.

In Washington this week, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said that diplomacy was "still very much alive", though he did not say if there had been any negotiations since the summit, or outline any plans for further talks. "They are wrong about that".

Pompeo appeared to dismiss the rhetoric as a bargaining ploy or an attempt to drive a wedge between the USA team and described his interactions as professional.

But Mr Pompeo said he is "hopeful" that discussions will continue. "I have a vague recollection of being called gangster-like".

Bolton said her description of the current state of diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang was "inaccurate", while Pompeo said he has a "vague recollection of being called gangster-like" by North Korean officials before, a jocular reference to North Korea hurling the exact same epithet at him in July for the same reason.

Choe told reporters Friday that North Korea has "no intention to yield to the United States demands" put forward at the February summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi, "in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind".

She blamed the breakdown of talks on the US side, saying the American delegation was being too demanding and inflexible: [The US] "were too busy with pursuing their own political interests and had no honest intention to achieve a result", Choe added, according to TASS. We never asked for the removal of sanctions in their entirety'. Talks between Mr Trump and Kim - the second time the two leaders have met - collapsed as a result the latter's demands over worldwide sanctions imposed in response to nuclear weapons programme, which it pursued for years in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. "Sometimes you have to walk, this was just one of those times", Trump said of his early departure from the summit, insisting he was in no rush to strike a deal.

The US envoy said on Monday that diplomacy with Pyongyang "is still very much alive", and expressed hope that Washington would be able to maintain "close engagement" with North Korea despite the recent summit setback.

South Korean officials are reportedly monitoring the situation. United States knock on NK door for more talks (I worry about translation issues in Hanoi & recent Biegun word choices "incremental" etc). He referred a couple of times to Kim's verbal pledge to denuclearize, which has not been formalized.

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"[Kim Jong Un] pretended to play the Tongchang-ri card, but never meant to fire a missile to place pressure on the United States", Kim Yong-hyun said. "It's the administration's desire that we continue to have conversations around this".

Trump has pointed to North Korea's freeze in nuclear and missile testing since 2017 as a positive outcome from almost a year of diplomatic engagement with North Korea.

"In Hanoi, on multiple occasions, he spoke directly to the President and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing" or missile testing, Pompeo said.

"President Trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right".

In Washington this week, U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said the United States expected to be able to continue its close engagement, though he offered no specifics on when new talks might be held.

'This time we understood very clearly that the United States has a very different calculation to ours, ' she added.

North Korea claimed it had only requested a partial lifting of the sanctions.

North Korea is considering breaking off negotiations with the US and resuming nuclear and missile tests, following last month's summit in Vietnam that ended early and without an agreement, a government official said.

"The two sides exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula and discussed urgent issues regarding the development of bilateral relations, including a schedule of political contacts and prospects for advancing cooperation in practical areas", Russia's foreign ministry said in a press statement.

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