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U.S.-North Korea Talks Stumble as Pyongyang Knocks Pompeo Effort

  • North Korea says U.S. was ‘gangster-like’ in its demands
  • Both sides plan to send lower level officials to talks July 12
Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol in Pyongyang on July 7.
Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol in Pyongyang on July 7.Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AFP via Getty Images
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U.S.-North Korea talks hit their first major stumbling block since last month’s landmark summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, with Pyongyang dismissing American demands after two days of negotiations as “cancerous” and “gangster-like.”

North Korea’s criticism of the talks in Pyongyang fueled further doubts about whether Trump will ever achieve his goal of “complete denuclearization,” much less on the timeline of one to 2-1/2 years set out by various administration officials. The North Koreans were far more pessimistic in their assessment than the U.S.’s lead negotiator, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called the meetings “productive.”