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North Korea accuses US of ‘gangster’ demands

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of making “gangster-like” demands in talks over its nuclear program, contra­dicting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hours after he left, saying the old enemies had made prog­ress on key issues.

During a day and a half of talks in Pyongyang, Pompeo had sought to hammer out details on how to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear programs, including a timeline.

As he departed, he said he had made progress on “almost all of the central issues,” although work remained to be done.

Hours later, Pyongyang gave a much more negative assessment, saying Washington had broken the spirit of last month’s summit be­tween US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“The US side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like de­mand for denuclearization,” a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

He said Pompeo’s delegation in­sisted on unilateral complete, veri­fiable, and irreversible denuclear­ization, known as CVID. He argued instead for both sides to take a series of simultaneous steps as a “shortcut” to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

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