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Lawmakers are asking what comes next if talks between the US and North Korea break down, and are looking back to pre-summit practices.

"At first people paid attention because it was a lecture on South Korea, but as the criticisms continued people began to nod off", the source said.

China is North Korea's traditional ally and main trading partner, and is a key influence on Pyongyang.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong (R) meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, on July 8.

Pompeo says sanctions would remain until Pyongyang follows through on leader Kim Jong-un's pledge to get rid of his nuclear weapons.

The Trump administration worked for months to win support from China for its "maximum pressure" campaign of sanctions to isolate North Korea, which does most of its global trade with the Chinese.

There has been growing skepticism in the USA over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal, and both sides have said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim reached in Singapore. Rather than announcing any concrete achievements, the most Pompeo seemed able to deliver on Saturday was the promise of more talks.

"The statement was to my ear, in a way, much more gentle and careful than I have heard from the North Koreans on any number of occasions over more than two decades", Gallucci said during the call with reporters organized by 38 North.

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After Trump's historic summit with Kim in Singapore last month, the president declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of American soldiers.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the importance of a comprehensive resolution of issues related to North Korea during his meeting with Pompeo.

Calling for a "phased and synchronous approach", the statement added: "This is incomparable with the irreversible step taken by (North Korea) to explode and dismantle the nuclear test ground".

Pompeo characterized his talks with North Korean officials as productive, but the North's foreign ministry blasted the discussions, saying the visit - the third by the top US diplomat since April - had been "regrettable". "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.

In criticising 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".

Pyongyang's statement came despite Pompeo saying that he had "many hours of productive conversations" with the North, adding that "we made progress on nearly all of the central issues". Instead, on Friday and Saturday he held talks with Kim Jong-chol, seen as the North Korean leader's right-hand man, on how to proceed with denuclearisation.

"Proving once again that only fools rush in, Trump forced a summit for cheap headlines", Scarborough wrote, continuing the ongoing feud between himself and president Trump. "We're in a fight with China", he said.

The statement was widely seen as a negotiating tactic to put the USA on the back foot as talks get underway.