Pompeo meets North Koreans, hopes to 'fill in' details on denuclearisation

Korea Pool

Korea Pool

When South Korean musicians traveled to the North earlier this year to hold two concerts in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un made a surprise appearance at the first show on March 31 and sat beside South Korea's Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan.

The diplomat visited the White House last month and he delivered a letter to Mr. Trump from Kim Jong Un.

Marking Pompeo's visit, expectations are that North Korea may deliver the remains of US troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, as promised in the joint statement at the June summit.

Now, he'll be able to hear the tune, and maybe return the favor with a mix tape.

In addition to denuclearization, Pompeo is expected to discuss the return of American remains from the Korean War to USA soil, which North Korea explicitly promised to execute in the Singapore declaration.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea Friday, a foreign news report said, as Washington hopes to maintain the momentum of a Singapore summit deal on improving bilateral ties and denuclearizing the communist nation. "North Korea relations are moving in a virtuous cycle", the South Korean official added while ruling out the possibility of trilateral talks during Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang.

Players from North and South Korea were mixed into two teams that competed against each other at the North Korean capital's Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium.

It is unclear whether he will meet Mr Kim in person.

"THAAD can work as a leverage against China, because the more China cooperates with North Korea's denuclearization, the more likely they can say goodbye to THAAD", said Yang.




South Korea's Defense Ministry said at the time that it "needs to find out the exact meaning or intention behind [Trump's] comments".

Reuters reported on Thursday that South Korean officials had been offering advice to their USA counterparts on how to deal with these issues, with one senior official from Seoul visiting Washington this week and suggesting that the United States move away from its aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" towards a softer approach, according to the news agency.

Over the past quarter-century, North Korea has frustrated or outfoxed U.S. administrations that have attempted to stop and reverse its weapons development through diplomacy and sanctions.

Mr Pompeo simply laughed when questioned on rumours that he had brought Mr Kim an Elton John CD as a present - a reference to one of Mr Trump's favourite insults for the North Korean leader, who he repeatedly referred to as "Little Rocket Man" on social media.

"I think we understand each other". For example, North Korea announced in May it had blown up tunnels in order to cave in its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, but satellite images from last September suggested the site had already partially collapsed and was unusable.

Pompeo will spend a day and a half in North Korea, until Saturday, his first overnight stay there.

Gifts aside, Pompeo's spokeswoman Heather Nauert said he will seek "to fill in some details" on North Korea's commitment to give up nuclear weapons.

Pompeo's talk will be closely watched in the region.

When the Secretary of State landed in Pyongyang he was welcomed by Kim Yong Chol - a former North Korean spy chief who is now Kim Jong Un's top negotiator.

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