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US hopes to continue talks with North Korea: Pompeo

Mike Pompeo IANS20190316092858_l

Washington, March 16 (IANS) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington is still hopeful for continued talks with Pyongyang.

"We are hopeful that we can continue to have conversation, negotiations," Pompeo told reporters at a press conference held at the State Department on Friday.

He confirmed that there is ongoing negotiation between the two sides, but refused to give the details, Xinhua reported.

Pompeo said that he and his counterpart of North Korea had "very professional conversations" and he has "every expectation that we’ll be able to continue to do that."

Pompeo’s remarks came hours after Pyongyang blamed the US side for the failure of the recent summit between the North Korea’s top leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

After ending the summit in Hanoi on February 28 without reaching an agreement, Trump told a press conference that there was "a gap" in what the North Korea and the United States were pursuing.

According to Trump, Kim demanded relief from sanctions against Pyongyang "in their entirety" in exchange for denuclearising a "large portion" of the North Korea’s nuclear program, something the United States could not agree to.

Dismissing Trump’s claim, North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has said that North Korea only proposed partial removal of the sanctions, wanting those impeding the livelihood of their people to be removed first.


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