North Korea alarmed by USA attitudes but committed to nuclear deal

North Korea alarmed by USA attitudes but committed to nuclear deal

North Korea alarmed by USA attitudes but committed to nuclear deal

At historic talks with President Donald Trump in June, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un signed up to a vague commitment to "denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" - a far cry from long-standing U.S. demands for complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament.

At the ASEAN Regional Forum, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho criticised USA impatience on denuclearisation.

Since the June agreement, Pyongyang had taken "goodwill measures", including a halt on nuclear and missile tests and "dismantling a nuclear test ground", he said.

Earlier at the same forum, Pompeo said he was emphasizing "the importance of maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea" but also said that he was "optimistic" about the prospects for progress when it came to North Korean denuclearisation.

Pyongyang is now under a range of global and U.S. sanctions over its nuclear programme and missile tests.

"I want to remind every nation that has supported these resolutions that this is a serious issue and something that we will discuss with Moscow", he said.

Mr Pompeo said he expected all nations to abide by the sanctions, singling out Russian Federation amid reports that it had potentially violated them by allowing thousands of North Korean labourers into the country.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the 8th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore August 4, 2018.

"China all along has believed that the consensus reached by USA and North Korea's leaders meeting in Singapore is very precious", Wang told reporters.

Mr Ri and Mr Pompeo only met face-to-face briefly, exchanging smiles, handshakes and a few brief words.

Following his talks with Ri, China's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said he hoped North Korea and the United States continue to move forward to implement their leaders' agreement.

"I agree, there are many productive conversations to be had", Ri replied, according to the State Department.

The White House said on Thursday that Trump had received a letter from Kim and had responded with a note that should be delivered shortly.

Pompeo, who has been leading the USA negotiations to get the North to abandon its nuclear programme, had primarily engaged with Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean party official and former spy agency chief, and not Ri. Pompeo said at the time he had made progress on key issues, only for North Korea to accuse his delegation hours later of making "gangster-like" demands.

Sung Kim, who has always been a key negotiator on the nuclear issue, said earlier he had no plans to meet the North Koreans in Singapore.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that North Korea appeared to be building one or two new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles at the research facility, citing unidentified officials familiar with intelligence reporting.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at the Asean Regional Forum Retreat in Singapore August 4, 2018.

North Korea's foreign minister has called United States actions "alarming" as tensions over the North's nuclear programme again flared.

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