Pompeo, North Korean official express need to 'clarify' their positions

Lester Mason
July 7, 2018

Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, dictator Kim Jong Un's top adviser and North Korea's former spy chief, exchanged pleasantries before the second meeting between the two countries.

After spending his first night in the North Korean capital in three visits so far this year, Pompeo left the government guest house where he spent the night to make a secure phone call and update U.S. President Donald Trump on the talks.

"Thinking about those discussions you might have not slept well last night", he said to Pompeo, referencing their close to three-hour meal the night before during which they discussed "very important matters".

Mr Kim joked that Mr Pompeo may not have slept well during his overnight stay at a guesthouse in Pyongyang.

Pompeo didn't seem all too pleased with Kim's forwardness, however. "We did have a good set of conversations yesterday, I appreciate that and I look forward to our continued conversations today". He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realize economic benefits in return.

Pompeo responded in kind, "There are things that I have to clarify as well".

Mr Kim did not comment on the issue of denuclearisation, saying only that there "are things I have to clarify".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that the US remains "very firm" in its stance that three basic goals be met: complete denuclearization of North Korea, security assurances, and the repatriation of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean war.

Every element of the Singapore agreement was covered in the meetings, from security assurances to reparations, Nauert said. But previous demands by the USA for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization", have made way for the phrase "final, fully verified denuclearization", as used in a tweet by Pompeo, Friday.

"Our policy hasn't changed", she said several times when asked about CVID.

Kim Jong Un made a broad commitment to "work towards denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" in Singapore but offered no details of how or when North Korea might dismantle a weapons programme that Trump has vowed will not be allowed to threaten the United States. The trip was Pompeo's third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit.

The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2018.

"These are complicated issues, but we made progress on nearly all of the central issues, some places a great deal of progress, other places there's still more work to be done", he said.

Mr Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol met for almost three hours on Friday and then had dinner amid growing scepticism over how serious Kim Jong-un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his June 12 summit with Trump into concrete action.

On Saturday, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency reported that Pompeo was in the country for talks but did not describe their nature.

"On this trip I'm seeking to fill in some details on those commitments and continue the momentum toward implementation of what the two leaders promised each other and the world", Pompeo told reporters as he headed to Pyongyang.

"Of course it is important", Vice Chairman Kim told the U.S. Secretary. The officials discussed a range of issues, including the return of the remains of USA troops killed in the Korean War.

They were due to talk again all day Saturday before Pompeo heads to Tokyo to brief Washington's Japanese and South Korean allies.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article