Manila, March 1 (IANS) US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Friday said that Washington will continue to engage with Pyongyang in order to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Pompeo, who was in Manila for an overnight trip that ended on Friday, said that the US was “anxious” to get back to the negotiating table after the Hanoi summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed to reach a deal.
“We are anxious to get back to the table so we can continue the conversation that will ultimately (bring) the peace and stability, better life for the North Korean people and (bring about) a denuclearized North Korea,” Pompeo told a press conference.
He said North Korea had indeed demanded for full sanctions relief at the Hanoi summit, which the US was not prepared to do or prepared to offer any answer, Xinhua news agency reported.
Rejecting the US claims, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said that Pyongyang only demanded partial removal of sanctions. “What we proposed was not the removal of all sanctions, but they are partial removal,” Ri said, adding the regime only asked for those sanctions impeding the livelihood of its people to be removed first.
Pompeo, nevertheless, said these “expansive” issues will be clarified in future meetings between the two sides. “It’s one of the reasons I hope we can get back so we can put some definition around that,” he said.
The top US leader travelled to the Philippines from the Vietnamese capital Hanoi where he participated in the Trump-Kim summit as well as bilateral meetings with Vietnamese leaders.