Friday, 20 July, 2018

Pompeo in N. Korea to seek 'details' on denuclearisation

Korean War A gunner with the US 31st Regimental Combat Team during the Korean War Credit National Archives
Jay Anderson | 07 July, 2018, 03:22

North Korea maintains the issue has been "settled", but Japan does not accept it.

The top United States diplomat, who will be staying overnight in the North Korean capital for the first time, said he looked forward to a "very productive" encounter.

The lawmaker's remarks come as Pompeo met with officials to "fill in" details on how to dismantle the North's nuclear program and recover the remains of US troops missing from the Korean War. "We'll see. All I can tell you is this, you haven't had one missile launch and you haven't had one rocket launch". The words "nuclear", "weapons", and "denuclearization" were not used in their opening remarks to each other. Under their "Sunshine Policy", economic inducements from Seoul resulted in temporary rapprochement and summits in 2000 and 2007 with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the father of current leader Kim Jong Un. The U.S. delegation was left waiting around for Kim Yong Chol to arrive, and there weren't enough seats at the table for the U.S. negotiators.

"Look forward to continuing our work toward the final, fully verified denuclearization (FFVD) of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)", Pompeo posted on Twitter on his way to Pyongyang.

North Korea could also deliver the remains of some American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

But the statement the leaders signed was short on clear commitments.

But that does mark a shift from the U.S.'s earlier demands for North Korea's "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization".

It is the latest freaky twist in the relationship between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea, who threw insults at one another in the wake of Kim's growing ballistic missile tests previous year.

Pompeo will put that proposition to the test and help lay to rest doubts over whether the president, who has already ordered a suspension of large-scale U.S. military drills with South Korea, is overeager to claim a success.




The talks lasted almost three hours and it was uncertain whether Mr Pompeo would meet Mr Kim.

"We just wrapped our first meeting of the day", Pompeo told reporters.

In what was considered to be one of the lowest points in US-North Korean relations, Trump referred to Kim as "little rocket man" in speeches and tweets.

According to NBC News, reporters on the ground asked Mr. Pompeo about the CD, but he neither confirmed nor denied it.

Friday's meetings took place at the Paekhwawon, or 100 Flowers Garden, an elite guesthouse where former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stayed in 2000. Along with the United States, Japan has led an worldwide pressure campaign against the North.

Four other USA officials said the Hermit Kingdom was purposely trying to mislead the U.S.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with President Donald Trump during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

Pompeo's delegation includes State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Alex Wong and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim.

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