"If the United States is being accused of gangster-like behavior, then the world is a gangster", Pompeo told the press in North Korea.
It's also a reminder of difficulties in negotiating with the North, which has a track record of dragging its feet in nuclear talks seen as part of a strategy to buy time for the development of weapons.
Following the June 12 meeting with Trump in Singapore, Kim made a broad agreement to "work toward denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula. ROK is the formal name of South Korea.
But a series of recent reports based on USA intelligence officials and satellite images have shown that the North Koreans are continuing their nuclear activities and expanding infrastructure, raising skepticism over their intentions. China is North Korea's traditional ally and main trading partner, and is key to maintaining sanctions on Pyongyang. US news accounts in recent days have shown pictures of what is said to be the expansion of nuclear-related buildings in North Korea.
However, many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle defended the drills as a necessary deterrent, and say they need to prepare for a potential conflict on the peninsula. "Most of the time you come back empty-handed", Hill added.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R), U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono pose for a photo during their talks in Tokyo on July 8, 2018, in this photo provided by Japan's Kyodo News.
United States negotiators and their North Korean counterparts discussed the idea of Pyongyang making a full declaration of its weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and setting a timeline for giving them up, Pompeo said on Saturday.
The White House had said Pompeo would meet with the leader, but the encounter did not materialize, and the top USA diplomat only met with Kim Yong Chol.
Kim's wife Kim Young-hui, who is a specialist on the North at the Korea Development Bank in Seoul, concurs with his view that most of economic zones in the North remain severely underdeveloped.
"The United States has been clear on what we seek from North Korea", Pompeo said in Hanoi.
"If they are able to do this, they will be remembered, and Chairman Kim will be remembered, as a hero of the Korean people". Let's start by going over that tweet by President Trump. It recoiled at what it described as a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization".
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said her country did not believe Washington had softened its demands, as some US officials and analysts have suggested. Yet Pompeo himself had earlier said he envisioned that occurring in about two and a half years, by the end of Trump's term, and Nauert later said the USA wasn't putting a timeline on the process. "We had productive, good-faith negotiations".