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China Might Be Putting 'Negative Pressure' on North Korea

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The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang North Korea Friday

NORTH Korea has called high-level talks with a United State delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "extremely regrettable", contradicting Washington's account of how the meeting in Pyongyang went.

It's been almost one month since President Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Sinagpore.

Following his meetings, Pompeo told reporters that the two sides had made progress on defining denuclearization to begin the process of ending North Korea's illegal nuclear weapons program.

Asked whether he got any closer to a sense of a timeline for the North's denuclearization and a baseline declaration of their weapons of mass destruction, Pompeo replied that both sides spent a "good deal of time talking about each of those two things", adding progress was made in "every element of our discussions". DPRK are the initials of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We had expected that the USA side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit ... we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", it said.

According to the Pentagon, North Korean officials have indicated in the past that they have the remains of as many as 200 USA troops.

In a statement issued by an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman and carried by the Korean Central News Agency, the North lashed out at the United States for seeking unilateral and forced denuclearization from Pyongyang. Although the White House announced that Pompeo was set to meet with Kim during his trip, it never happened.

He was speaking at a joint press conference with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts - Kang Kyung-wha and Taro Kono - in Tokyo.

Kim, 55, who defected to the South with his family in 2002, said Kim Jong Un has increased the number of special economic zones more than five-fold to 27 since succeeding his father as North Korea's leader in 2011.

The UN special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea on Tuesday called on the South Korean government to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the defection of North Korean restaurant workers in 2016, saying some of the workers were "victims" of a scam.

President Donald Trump addresses the audience during a rally at the Four Seasons Arena at Montana ExpoPark, July 5, 2018, in Great Falls, Mont., in support of Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., and GOP Senate candidate Matt Rosendale.

China and Russian Federation are Pyongyang's biggest trading partners.

"Sanctions will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearization", Pompeo stressed.

The president's comments on China appeared to reflect concern that US imposition of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports last week could make China less cooperative in pressuring the North over its nuclear and missile programs.

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