Pompeo's 4th North Korean visit fuels optimism for denuclearization

Aaron Brown
October 6, 2018

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has backed away from a previously stated goal of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons by the end of Donald Trump's first term in January 2021.

Following the initial announcement, Trump said the summit will happen "fairly quickly" and showed reporters a new missive he had received from Kim, describing it as an "extraordinary letter".

While speaking at a rally in Wheeling, West Virginia, over the weekend, Trump said that he and Kim "fell in love".

On Friday, they will take part in the first-ever joint event to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the 2007 summit held in Pyongyang between then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Referring to a previous verification effort in 2008, Kang said that demanding an inventory of North Korea's nuclear assets risks, at this stage, derailing the process.

The Seoul government earlier said that it does not view the money to be spent on the South Korean delegation's trip to the North as a violation of global sanctions on its regime, though it said that close talks have been under way with the United States on the matter. During the war, American-led United Nations forces defended the South from the Communist troops of North Korea and China.

Trump's diplomatic overtures are building the trust that will make North Korea feel comfortable with making concessions and joining the rest of us in the 21st century.

"We are not easing the pressure in that regard at all", she said, while responding when asked if Washington was considering any kind of peace declaration: "We are not".

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Pompeo's trip at the weekend comes as the U.S. hopes to move forward in negotiations with the North, which has repeatedly complained the Trump administration has not reciprocated its good will. Pompeo said he expects to a plan for a second summit between Kim and Trump, and to make progress on a "pathway for denuclearisation".

"We want it fast, but we're not going to play the time game", he said, adding that his reference last month to 2021 was repeating a comment made by the North and South Korean leaders at a summit last month in Pyongyang.

North Korea says it first wants relief from punishing global sanctions.

Ri Son Gwon, right, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of North Korea, shakes hands with South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon at the Pyongyang Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency reported later in a short dispatch that a delegation including Choe left to attend negotiations between North Korea and China in Beijing, negotiations between North Korea and Russian Federation in Moscow as well as negotiations involving all three countries.

Reuters reported on Sunday that China had cancelled a security meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis planned for October.

"We have a very good relationship".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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