North Korea regrets the outcome of the last two days of talks with U.S. officials in Pyongyang, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the country’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Saturday.
In comments released just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departed from Pyongyang after two days of talks with North Korean officials, Pyongyang said the attitude of American negotiators had been “regrettable.”
“The results of the talks are extremely worrisome,” the statement by an unnamed foreign ministry official reads.
While Pyongyang had hoped the United States would “come up with constructive measures to help build confidence” and sought “balanced implementation” of the June 12 DPRK-U.S. agreement, it continued, the American negotiators had demanded unilateral nuclear disarmament.
“What the U.S. is requesting is the cancerous demands from previous administrations that blocked all dialogue processes,” the statement said, arguing that a phased, step-by-step approach would be the “fastest way to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
Saturday’s foreign ministry statement, however, did suggest Pyongyang would continue to engage in talks, saying that “we still have faith in President Trump” and that the country has a “firm, steadfast” resolve to denuclearize the peninsula.
Pompeo left the North Korean capital mid-afternoon on Saturday, following a round of meetings on Friday and Saturday with, among other officials, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Kim Yong Chol.
The visit came a week after reports surfaced detailing concerns among U.S. intelligence officials that North Korea was not taking steps to dismantle its nuclear program and seeking to “deceive” Washington.
In contrast with meetings in Pyongyang held in April and May, the Secretary of State did not meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.
The Secretary of State arrived in Japan later in the day, where he is expected to hold a trilateral press conference with Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Sunday.
Featured image: U.S. State Department