North Korea talks either 'very productive' or 'deeply regrettable'

It is Mr Pompeo's third trip to Pyongyang

The North's statement came on Saturday, hours after the USA secretary of state wrapped up two days of talks with senior North Korean officials without meeting Kim Jong-un but with commitments for new discussions on denuclearisation and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean war.

Hours earlier Saturday, North Korea slammed what it called the US' "gangster-like mindset" during the talks, according to a report by state media.

North Korea called the outcome of the discussion "worrisome" and argued that the "cancerous issues" the U.S. delegation raised were the same ones that had "amplified" distrust and the risk of war with past administrations, resulting in previous talks ending in failure.

As Mr. Pompeo departed Pyongyang, he told reporter that the talks achieved progress "on nearly all of the central issues" in the talks, including on setting a timeline for its denuclearisation, though more work remained to be done.

Pompeo met North Korean senior official Kim Yong Chol, who played a key role in arranging last month's summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting [between the countries] was no doubt regrettable", the spokesman said.

However, Pompeo said the progress achieved thus far did not warrant any concessions.

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Mr Pompeo said the talks "brought us in a risky situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearisation, rather than consolidating trust".

Amid increasing scrutiny of North Korea's commitment to giving up its weapons, Pompeo came to Pyongyang in a bid to hammer out the details of a denuclearization plan.

You see, Kim Jong Un likes good TV too.

However, in another twist of approach towards Kim - who Trump once called "Little Rocket Man" - the U.S. administration renewed its sanctions on North Korea for another year. "These are complicated issues but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues".

Interestingly, Pompeo's own statement appeared to try to spin the two-day visit as a success, saying a "great deal of progress" was made, and that more needs to be done, but not offering anything to suggest the talks ended badly.

"We were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", an unnamed spokesperson of the North's foreign ministry said in a statement published by the official Korean Central News Agency.

"The fact that we're co-operating - and not fighting - is proof that when a country decides to create a brighter future for itself alongside the United States, we follow through on American promises", Pompeo said.

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He stressed that denuclearisation was a condition for lifting sanctions.

As Saturday's meeting got under way Kim Yong-chol joked that Mr Pompeo may not have slept well during his overnight stay at a guesthouse in Pyongyang.

Following the agreement signed at the Singapore summit, it appears that again North Korea and the us have only committed to broad strokes and say that now the hard work is beginning, NPR's Seoul correspondent Elise Hu tells Weekend Edition Saturday.

Pompeo's latest trip to North Korea has drawn particular attention because it was the first high-level meeting to discuss specific steps to denuclearize the North following the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.

"And to our North Korean friends, I can't say the word friend yet".

North Korea called America's "attitude" toward denuclearization "regrettable" after a meeting between US and North Korean officials.

After the Singapore summit, which also saw the USA offer "security guarantees" to North Korea and promise to end its military drills with South Korea, Mr Trump claimed that the North no longer posed a nuclear threat.

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Saturday saw Nauert say discussions had also involved the issue of the repatriation of USA service members who died during the Korean War.

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