Although Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave positive reports of his meeting with North Korean officials, the officials themselves tell a different story.
Pompeo returned to North Korea for another visit aimed at getting the process of denuclearization underway, and while he said that things went well, his North Korean counterparts don’t seem to agree.
North Korea’s foreign ministry described the talks with Pompeo as “regrettable,” citing Pompeo’s demands for complete denuclearization.
“The U.S. just came out with such unilateral and robber-like denuclearization demands as [complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization], declaration and verification that go against the spirit of the North-U.S. summit meeting.” — North Korean Foreign Ministry
North Korean statements are in direct contradiction with Pompeo’s claims that the conversations were “productive.”
According to U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, Pompeo was not granted an audience by leader Kim Jong-un, whom Pompeo has met with on his last two trips to the country.
North Korean officials have accused Pompeo of having a “gangster-like mindset” in his approach to the sensitive talks.
“If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster,” — Pompeo
Following satellite images that showed North Korean expansion of a ballistic missile production facility, these failed talks are just the latest sign that the president may not have fixed the “North Korea problem” after all.