Pompeo seeks clarity in denuclearization talks with NKorea

North Korea has accused the USA of undermining the spirit of last month's summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un after what it says were "regrettable" talks with a delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

On his third trip to Pyongyang since April and his first since last month's historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Mr Pompeo was meeting Kim Yong Chol, a senior ruling party official.

But the North Korean statement said the unilateral demands on "CVID" - complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization - were "very concerning" and that it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm".

Mr Kim has promised to work towards denuclearisation, but details on how this will be achieved remain thin.

Pompeo said before arriving in North Korea he was seeking to "fill in" some details on North Korea's commitments and maintain the momentum towards implementing the agreement from the summit.

However, he has since renewed sanctions on North Korea, while United States intelligence officials have said there is evidence North Korea continues to upgrade the infrastructure for its nuclear and missile programmes.

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Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs, Mr Pompeo spent the night at a government guest house in Pyongyang after a three-hour dinner with Kim Yong Chol, something the North Korean official alluded to in comments as they began their talks.

On the destruction of the missile engine plant, Pompeo said, "We talked about what the modalities would look like for the destruction of that facility as well, and some progress there as well, and then we have laid out a path for further negotiation at the working level so the two teams can get together and continue these discussions". "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", he said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that the USA remains "very firm" in its stance that three basic goals be met: complete denuclearisation of North Korea, security assurances, and the repatriation of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean war.

"There are things that I have to clarify as well", said Pompeo.

Kim, who previously held the position of Special Envoy for North Korea Policy, met with his North Korean counterparts Sunday in Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea shortly before Pompeo's trip.

Earlier, Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol both said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to in Singapore.

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US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo did not meet Kim Jong Un as he had done on his two previous visits to North Korea this year, but handed over a letter to him from Trump.

On Saturday morning, Pompeo was reported to have left the negotiations venue to make a secure phone call to brief Trump on the discussions.

Pompeo replied: "Director Kim, I slept just fine".

U.S. intelligence officials told Reuters before the latest talks Pompeo would try to agree on at least an initial list of nuclear sites and an inventory that could be checked against available intelligence.

"Our policy hasn't changed", she said when asked why United States officials appear in public comments to have backed away from early demands that an agreement must cover "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation".

Some US officials and experts have said the change in language amounted to a softening in approach.

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