Pompeo says U.S. will continue to engage with DPRK on denuclearization

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York, July 20, 2018. Pompeo said on Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin began discussing the return of millions of Syrian refugees. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

MANILA, March 1 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Friday that the United States will continue to engage with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in order to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo, in Manila for an overnight trip that ended on Friday, said that the United States is “anxious” to get back to negotiating table after the Hanoi summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and DPRK top 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.

Pompeo said the DPRK has indeed demanded for “full sanctions relief” at the Hanoi summit, which the United States does not prepare to do or prepare to offer any answer.

Rejecting the U.S. claims, Ri Yong Ho, the DPRK’s foreign minister held a press conference in Hanoi early Friday, saying the DPRK only demand partial removal of sanctions against Pyongyang.

“What we proposed was not the removal of all sanctions, but they are partial removal,” Ri said, adding the DPRK 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.

Pompeo traveled to the Philippines from Hanoi, Vietnam, where he participated in the Trump-Kim summit as well as bilateral meetings with Vietnamese leaders.