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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take a walk after their first meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, in Hanoi.

WASHINGTON — Amid new tension between the two countries, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the U.S. expects North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to live up to his promise to President Donald Trump to continue his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests.

"In Hanoi, on multiple occasions, he spoke directly to the president and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing nor would he resume missile testing," Pompeo said. "So that's Chairman Kim's word. We have every expectation he will live up to that commitment."

A senior North Korean official said earlier Friday in Pyongyang that Kim will soon decide if he wants to continue diplomatic talks and refrain from doing missile launches and nuclear tests.

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui also alleged that Pompeo and Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, created an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust at last month's nuclear summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. She suggested that while Trump was more willing to talk, Pompeo and Bolton expressed uncompromising demands of the North Koreans.

"On our way back to the homeland, our chairman of the state affairs commission said, 'For what reason do we have to make this train trip again?'" she said. "I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the U.S. will eventually put the situation in danger. We have neither the intention to compromise with the U.S. in any form nor much less the desire or plan to conduct this kind of negotiation."

At the White House, Bolton disputed the allegation, saying, "I think that's inaccurate. The president is our decision-maker." Bolton said he's seen the vice foreign minister's statement and had discussed the allegations with his South Korean counterpart.

At the State Department, Pompeo also denied it.

"They're wrong about that, and I was there," Pompeo said, adding that he has detailed conversations with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol. He said their relationship is "professional" and that he has every expectation they will continue their talks.

He said it's not the first time that a North Korean has likened him to a gangster.

"I have a vague recollection of being called 'gangster-like' from a visit that I took one time previously," Pompeo said.

The vice foreign minister said Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken — such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests — and changes its "political calculation." Even so, she said personal relations between the two leaders are still good "and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful."

She said it was entirely up to Kim whether to continue the launch and test moratorium, and said she expects he will "clarify his position" within a short period of time.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • RBear
    March 15, 2019 at 11:34 a.m.

    I thought Trump said he had a deal and believe Kim Jong Un when he was in Singapore? I thought Trump had a good feeling going into Hanoi? I thought Trump said he was doing what no other president has done before. I guess we were fooled more by Trump than anyone else.

  • Foghorn
    March 15, 2019 at 11:38 a.m.

    Trump left the Singapore meeting early because Kim wouldn’t agree to ANYTHING. I fail to see how that should inspire confidence in ANYONE except morons like Trump that tests will end.

  • MaxCady
    March 15, 2019 at 3:23 p.m.

    Good luck with that.

  • Skeptic1
    March 15, 2019 at 7:59 p.m.

    Rbear...when was it that Obama met with Jim and got him to stop lobbing missiles and stop doing nuclear tests? Oh that's right - NEVER.

  • Foghorn
    March 15, 2019 at 9:08 p.m.

    Neither has Trump, septic. They have met but nothing - absolutely nothing - has come of it. Other than wishful thinking on Trump’s part.

  • GeneralMac
    March 15, 2019 at 9:11 p.m.

    Maybe Bartack HUSSEIN Obama should have made one of his DELIBERATE, ARROGANT monkey faces at Kim.

  • Foghorn
    March 15, 2019 at 10:02 p.m.

    So pathetic that 2+yrs into Trumps admin his supporters grasp at Obama straws. Also hilarious.