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JULY 9, 2018
North Korea should watch their language. In a sharp signal that denuclearization negotiations with North Korea will be drawn out and difficult, Pyongyang on Saturday lambasted the U.S. stance as regrettable, gangster-like and cancerous, directly contradicting Secretary of State Mike Pompeos rosy assessment that his two days of talks had been productive. A harsh statement from an unnamed spokesman for the Foreign Ministry was carried on the state-run Korea Central News Agency just hours after Pompeo left Pyongyang on Saturday and told reporters that significant progress had been made in every element of what he characterized as good-faith negotiations. Pyongyang crushed that appraisal, saying the United States had betrayed the spirit of the June 12 Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Though North Korea still has faith in Trump, the statement said, it warned that the U.S. approach had brought the two countries to a dangerous stage that could rattle our willingness for denuclearization. It was unclear whether the North Korean statement represented potential doom for meaningful negotiations, as some analysts believed, or was just Pyongyangs standard negotiating style, as others asserted. It exposed the fragility of discussions at the center of Trumps foreign policy and raised questions about Pyongyangs intentions.
North Korea can't be trusted, but trying to
play Trump would be a major mistake.