Perhaps the news media should, you know, actually check with the other party in the talks before reporting the claims of the North Korean foreign ministry.
Nevertheless, Hill’s agreement did contain a concession of major significance for Japan (of course unreported): Hill made no mention whatsoever of the abductions issue, sending a clear signal to Japan that if it thinks that the US has linked the terror list removal to denuclearization and the resolution of the abductions issue, it is in for a surprise.
Hear that Mr. Abe? Stop listening to what your buddy George says and start paying attention to what the key players on this issue are actually doing. And get your government ready for the shift, instead of saying after the fact, “We had no idea that the US would change its position like that.”