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Mike Pompeo holds nuclear talks with North Korean officials in Pyongyang

Secretary of state predicts ‘productive’ meeting on his third visit, joking: ‘If I come one more time, I will have to pay taxes here’, Guardian, Julian Borger in Washington and Justin McCurry in Tokyo 7 Jul 2018   

Mike Pompeo and a US delegation held talks in Pyongyang with North Korean officials on Friday, in an effort to make progress towards disarmament and improved bilateral relations three weeks after Donald Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un.

The US secretary of state is seeking to persuade the North Korean leadership to take concrete steps that Trump said he was promised in Singapore, including the destruction of a missile engine testing site and the repatriation of remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean war.

Pompeo is also asking for more substantial steps towards disarmament, reportedly including an inventory of the North Korean arsenal of warheads and missiles.

Mike Pompeo and a US delegation held talks in Pyongyang with North Korean officials on Friday, in an effort to make progress towards disarmament and improved bilateral relations three weeks after Donald Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un.

The US secretary of state is seeking to persuade the North Korean leadership to take concrete steps that Trump said he was promised in Singapore, including the destruction of a missile engine testing site and the repatriation of remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean war.

Pompeo is also asking for more substantial steps towards disarmament, reportedly including an inventory of the North Korean arsenal of warheads and missiles.

…….. He is under time pressure to produce results by August, when the US and South Korea were due to hold joint military exercises. Those exercises were cancelled on Trump’s orders in Singapore as an up-front concession. Adding to the pressure, the president has repeatedly claimed that the testing site has already been destroyed, and that the soldiers’ remains have been sent back, neither of which has happened.

Trump has also made extravagant claims about what was agreed in Singapore. At a rally in Montana on Thursday, he claimed: “We signed a wonderful paper saying they’re going to denuclearise their whole thing. It’s going to all happen.”

In a joint statement with Trump, Kim agreed to move towards “complete denuclearisation” but that has been a stock phrase in North Korean rhetoric since 1992 and signifies a vague and long-term process of multilateral disarmament on the Korean peninsula. Since the Singapore meeting, satellite images and intelligence leaks have suggested that North Korea is upgrading critical parts of its nuclear programme

……….. The meeting lasted two hours and 45 minutes and Pompeo then had dinner with his senior aides. The next session is due to start at 9am. It is unclear whether Pompeo will meet Kim Jong-un on this trip.

There were reports before Pompeo began his visit, that he might relax the US demand for complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament (CVID), and settle for mutual confidence-building measures that defused tensions without dismantling the North Korean arsenal.

His spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, denied those reports on Thursday, saying: “Nothing could be further from the truth. Our policy toward North Korea has not changed.

“We are committed to a denuclearised North Korea and Secretary Pompeo looks forward to continuing his consultations with North Korean leaders to follow up on the commitments made at the Singapore summit,” Nauert added……….. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/05/mike-pompeo-north-kroea-visit-pressure-nuclear-progress

 

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July 7, 2018 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA

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