US and North Korean officials have formed working groups to deal with “nitty gritty stuff,” including verification of efforts to achieve denuclearization, according to a US State Department spokeswoman.
Heather Nauert made the remarks on Saturday, the second day of a visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang, Reuters reported.
Nauert said Pompeo and North Korean officials had discussed a range of issues including the repatriation of the remains of Americans who were killed in the Korean War in the 1950s in addition to denuclearization.
Pompeo arrived in North Korea on Friday to press Pyongyang for a “more detailed commitment” to denuclearization following Kim Jong-un’s historic summit with President Donald Trump.
The top US diplomat met with Kim Yong-chol, a senior North Korean official who, along with Pompeo, played a key role in arranging last month’s meeting in Singapore.
Following the negotiations, Pompeo left the venue in order to make a secure phone call to update Trump on the talks.
Ahead of his visit, Pompeo tweeted: “Looking forward to continuing our work toward the final, fully verified denuclearization of #DPRK, as agreed to by Chairman Kim. Good to have press along for the trip.”
Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, however, does not believe Pyongyang intends to give up its nuclear or ballistic missile weapons program, US-based press report have said citing officials and experts who have spoken to Bolton.
This is while Trump has in recent months redeemed Kim, describing him as “very honorable” and “nice” while insisting that the North is “no longer a nuclear threat.”