The top USA diplomat is under pressure to show progress after the June meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, at which the two sides agreed to work toward the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula".
U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed back from a largely fruitless visit to Pyongyang after two days of negotiations, following which North Korea directly contracted his claims of progress in denuclearization talks.
On Saturday, Pompeo briefed reporters about his time in Pyongyang saying, progress was made "on nearly all of the central issues" but there's still more work to be done. "Some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", he continued.
"So the work that we do, the path toward complete denuclearization, building a relationship between our two countries, is vital for a brighter North Korea and the success that our two presidents demand of us", he added.
Following the highly anticipated June 12 summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the US President wrote on Twitter that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea".More news: Hurricane Beryl Is Tiny, Unpredictable
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono prior to their breakfast meeting in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2018.
In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, the North carefully avoided attacking Trump, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump", but also that Washington must not allow "headwinds" against the "wills of the leaders".
Both issues are considered essential tests of whether Kim is serious about talks.
Afterwards, Mr Pompeo gave little away about the talks' content, but he said they had discussed at length a timeline for disarmament, including the destruction of a missile engine testing facility.
During the second day of his visit, an expected meeting between Pompeo and Kim Jong-un failed to materialize.
Pompeo said more talks were needed on both.More news: Fans Celebrate The Fact Neymar Will Be 'Rolling Home' After Brazil's Defeat
North Korea has branded the USA attitude at the latest talks over its nuclear programme "regrettable" and "extremely troubling".
Some U.S. experts said the disputes highlight the risk of Trump granting premature concessions to North Korea. -North Korea talks, as both sides were coming to the table with fundamentally different views of what they were bargaining with.
Kim did not comment on the issue of denuclearization, saying only that there "are things I have to clarify".
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.
Kim asked Pompeo if had slept well, to which Pompeo said he had.
State media said the regime's "firm, steadfast" resolve to give up its nuclear programmes may falter after the United States demanded unilateral denuclearisation during two days of talks in Pyongyang.More news: Italians Give Their Assessment Of England's Chances In This World Cup
Earlier reports today pointed to progress being made between the two countries, with commitments for new discussions on denuclearisation and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.