Sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will remain in place until the country achieves a "final, fully-verified denuclearization," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.
Speaking in Tokyo after two days of intense discussions in Pyongyang, Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress and were being conducted in "good faith", hitting back at DPRK's "gangster" accusations.
"If those requests were 'gangster-like' then the world is a gangster because there was a unanimous decision at the UN Security Council about what needs to be achieved," said Pompeo.
He also insisted that Pyongyang was committed to broad denuclearization and said that while some security guarantees could be on the table during the process, sanctions relief would not be.
The secretary made the remarks after talks with his Japanese and Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts in Tokyo where he also met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe praised Pompeo’s conduct of the talks, saying that this really showed the unwavering bond of the Japan-U.S. alliance.
Pyongyang's "gangster-like" comment came after two days of talks between the U.S. and the DPRK on Friday, with Pompeo's aim to press for further progress in the denuclearization process while the DPRK side felt deep regret over Pompeo's attitude.
A spokesman of the DPRK's Foreign Ministry said that the talks have not only failed to be of any help in trust-building between the two sides but also could result in the wavering of DPRK's will to work for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.