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Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met with Kim Jong-un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although USA officials had suggested such a meeting was expected.

On Sunday, during their 40-minute trilateral meeting, Pompeo briefed Kono and Kang about the results of his latest talks with the North, Kang said.

North Korea has accused the USA of using "gangster-like" tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament after a fresh round of high-level talks.

Pompeo said his meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, produced progress and they talked "a great deal" about a potential timeline for the denuclearization process.

The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2018.

While his talks with North Korean officials were conducted in good faith and they reaffirmed their commitment to abandoning nuclear weapons, he said, the United States sanctions against the nation will remain in place. "There are things that I have to clarify".

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The North's statement said officials had presented Mr. Pompeo with a personal letter to Mr. Trump to convey hopes that the "magnificent relations and feelings of trust" between the two leaders would be reinforced in further talks.

Pompeo said he had won commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and announced a Thursday meeting between USA and North Korean military officials on the repatriation of the remains. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert added that this meeting will be held at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom, involving working-level officials including those from the Defense Department. And earlier in the day, he had a curiously testy exchange with Kim Yong Chol, who mused that the secretary may not have slept well the night before because of the important issues they had discussed. Both were intended for North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un. It also offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site that would "physically affirm" a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles and setting up working-level discussions for the return of US war remains.

Saturday saw Nauert say discussions had also involved the issue of the repatriation of USA service members who died during the Korean War.

The Trump administration has said it would take between 1 and 2 1/2 years to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program.

Pompeo said that in past two decades, US bilateral trade with Vietnam had grown 8,000 percent, and American companies had poured in billions of dollars of investments.

"Sanctions will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearisation as agreed to by Chairman Kim (Jong Un) occurs", Pompeo said, adding that the U.S. would seek to smooth the path by providing security guarantees requested by Pyongyang.

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After two days of talks with senior officials, he said efforts to push Pyongyang towards abandoning nuclear weapons had worldwide backing.

Pompeo, who was on his third visit to Pyongyang, began the outreach when he was still Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director and remained the pointman on negotiations after the process became public and he became secretary of state.

Yet three weeks later, the two sides were still divided on all the issues, including exactly what denuclearization means and how it might be verified.

Pompeo actually corrected him to say that he did sleep well: "Director Kim, I slept just fine".

The statement, by an unnamed foreign ministry official, gave a starkly different account from one provided by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just hours before.

June's Singapore Declaration saw both countries agree to recover the remains of prisoners of war (POW) and missing in action (MIA) "including the immediate repatriation of those already identified". And even if North Korea modulates its rhetoric, there is likely to remain a fundamental disconnect between what the United States wants the country to do and what Kim Jong-un is willing to give up.

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