U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is keeping a hopeful outlook after two days of talks in Pyongyang, that despite North Korea's statement that came within hours of Pompeo leaving, which called the visit regrettable and said the U.S. acted gangster-like in its demands. The secretary responded to that criticism today, speaking to reporters in Japan.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
MIKE POMPEO: I am counting on Chairman Kim to be determined to follow through on the commitment that he made. And so if those requests were gangster-like, they are — the world is a gangster because there was a unanimous decision at the U.N. Security Council about what needs to be achieved.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: For the latest on where the diplomacy with North Korea is at, NPR's Elise Hu joins us now from Seoul. Hey, Elise.
ELISE HU, BYLINE: Hey, there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what is the divide that's opening up between the U.S. and North Korea?
HU: Well, it's all over how North Korea and the U.S. have differing takes on Pyongyang's latest pledge to scale back its nuclear program. The U.S. and North Korea both agreed to this term complete denuclearization when President Trump and Kim Jong Un signed that Singapore agreement. But that's really broad, and North Korea has made more specific denuclearization agreements before only to walk them back or start testing again or not letting inspectors to verify what it was doing. Now there are satellite imagery that's already showing North Korea is upgrading its nuclear and ballistic facilities after the June agreement with Trump. But Secretary Pompeo is still insisting that progress was made over the weekend. He called the negotiations good-faith, productive conversations which will continue.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I guess the devil is in the detail, and that was always the concern — right? — that this meeting between President Trump that happened in Singapore with North Korea's leader was simply kind of the dessert coming before the main meal, which is actually a negotiation. So what's the next move for the United States?
HU: So far the president himself has not commented or tweeted on the talks. And policy-wise, the U.S. secretary of state says the U.S. is not going to lift economic pressure on North Korea until North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Secretary Pompeo also encouraged other countries to stay the course on sanctions since the international community is involved here. But already, Lulu, there's a softening in the region. Sources indicate China has already relaxed sanctions implementation, which then weakens that sanctions card overall.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what does that mean exactly when you say that there's a softening in the region, that people are already taking it for granted that there is a negotiation underway and they're kind of not pressuring North Korea as much as they might have been?
HU: That's right. And for its part, China, there's evidence that it's just not enforcing sanctions on North Korea in the way that it did when it sort of toughened things up in response to its long-range tests at the end of last year.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So that might suggest that actually the United States's position was made weaker. You are there in South Korea, and I'm curious what its outlook is on the situation.
HU: The South Korean presidential office is staying positive just like Secretary Pompeo. A spokesman said today that he believed President Trump and Kim would iron out the multiple problems that were always bound to arise during talks. They're saying this is kind of par for the course in difficult diplomatic negotiation. He also said that the two sides built trust in Singapore, which keeps President Moon Jae-in here in South Korea pretty hopeful.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's NPR's Elise Hu in Seoul. Thank you so much.
HU: You're welcome.
美国国务卿迈克·蓬佩奥在结束为期两天的访朝之行后，依然对前景持乐观态度，尽管朝鲜在蓬佩奥离开朝鲜几个小时之后发表声明称，对蓬佩奥此行表示“遗憾”，同时指责美国向朝鲜提出“强盗般”的要求 。美国国务卿今天在日本接受记者采访时回应了朝鲜的指责 。
迈克·蓬佩奥：我期望金正恩主席决心履行其做出的承诺 。如果那是强盗性的要求，那么全世界都是强盗，因为联合国安理会就需要实现的目标达成了一致决定 。
加西亚·纳瓦罗：现在NPR新闻的埃莉斯·休将从首尔和我们连线，就美国与朝鲜外交的最新变化进行报道 。你好，埃莉斯 。
休：分歧在于朝鲜和美国对朝鲜计划缩减核项目的最新承诺持不同看法 。特朗普总统和朝鲜领导人金正恩在新加坡签署协议时，美朝双方均同意“完成无核化”这一条款 。但是这一说法非常宽泛，朝鲜此前曾签署过更为具体的去核化协议，但随后就背弃承诺或再次开始测试，或不让检查人员验证其行为 。现在有卫星图片显示，朝鲜在6月份与特朗普签署协议之后，开始升级其核设施和导弹设施 。但是国务卿蓬佩奥依然坚称，周末的会谈取得了进展 。他称与朝方的会谈“真诚且富有成效”，之后会继续进行会谈 。
休：目前总统本人还未在推特上就这次会谈发表任何评论 。美国国务卿表示，就政策来说，在朝鲜放弃核武器和弹道导弹之前，美国不会解除对朝鲜的经济压力 。国务卿蓬佩奥还敦促其他国家继续对朝鲜施加制裁，因为目前朝鲜面临着国际社会的制裁 。但是，露露，这一地区施加的制裁已经开始减弱 。有消息表明，中国已经放松了对朝鲜的制裁力度，随后将从整体上削弱制裁措施 。
休：没错 。去年底朝鲜进行了长距离导弹测试，中国通过加强对朝鲜的制裁来进行回应，而现在有证据表明，目前中国对朝鲜施加的制裁程度相比当时已有所减弱 。
加西亚·纳瓦罗：这可能表明，实际上美国的立场被削弱了 。你现在在韩国，我想知道韩国对这一局势的看法 。
休：和国务卿蓬佩奥一样，韩国总统办公室也保持积极的态度 。一名发言人今天表示，他相信特朗普总统和金正恩会解决会谈中一定会出现的问题 。他们认为这对于棘手的外交谈判来说是意料之中的事 。他还表示，双方在新加坡构建了信任，这使韩国总统文在寅充满希望 。
加西亚·纳瓦罗：以上是NPR新闻的埃莉斯·休从首尔带来的报道 。非常谢谢你 。
1. toughen up 加强，强化（政策、规章或惩罚）；使强硬；
The new law toughens up penalties for those that misuse guns.
2. iron out 解决；消除；
The various groups had now managed to ir on out their differences.
3. be bound to do sth. 一定会；必然会；注定会；
There are bound to be price increases next year.
4. par for the course （不快之事）不出所料，在意料之中；
He said long hours are par for the course.