Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Pompeo Heads to North Korea to Firm Up Denuclearization Plans

Pompeo Heads to North Korea to Firm Up Denuclearization Plans

"If that's not true, we'll go back to the other way", Trump said aboard Air Force One as he flew to Montana.

The State Department on Thursday brushed off suggestions that the Trump administration has eased off North Korea as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to the isolated nation, The Associated Press reported.

North Korea's state-run media on Friday denounced the United States for raising the issue of the North's dismal human rights record ahead of crucial talks between the countries to resolve the nuclear standoff.

Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA said last month Xi and Kim discussed "strategic and tactical cooperation" between the two countries. During their summit, the U.S. and North Korean delegations watched a four-minute video, made in the style of a Hollywood trailer, setting out the North's stark choice: conflict with a powerful enemy or a peaceful and prosperous future as America's (denuclearised) partner. 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.

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Before meeting wih Kim, Trump said he would be able to gauge his chemistry with the North Korean leader "within the first minute". The Kremlin said Putin did not plan to meet USA lawmakers who are visiting Russian Federation this week.


After the meeting, Trump tweeted that there was no longer a nuclear threat from the country, a declaration which Pompeo later sought to downplay.

Any significant rewards from South Korea and the United States would depend on whether North Korea is ready to give up the nuclear weapons it may see as its strongest guarantee of survival. In recent weeks, USA officials have expressed displeasure in the senior North Korean official for what they view as his inability or unwillingness to negotiate with US officials or act outside the scope of very limited orders from Kim Jong Un.

The South Korean president has worked to maintain a co-ordinated approach with Trump on North Korea.

It says pressure will remain until North Korea denuclearizes, but in statements this week, it redefined the USA goal as "the final, fully verified denuclearisation" of the country. They anxious that a false statement about North Korea's nuclear capability would demean the Trump administration at the negotiating table.

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Two days of friendly basketball games winding up Thursday in Pyongyang were the latest in a slew of goodwill gestures between the Koreas in recent months. It's crucial that Pompeo leaves Pyongyang with something substantial, he said. Diplomats familiar with the talks, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the sensitive discussions, said progress on negotiations with the North Koreans has been slow, and the two sides have not even begun to form a shared understanding of what denuclearization would look like. "Then you pick up on signals", Kartman said.

The real impact of the Chemical Material Institute's expansion depends on any agreements Trump and Kim may have reached at their June summit in Singapore.

Sources in Washington said the gifts reflect Trump's expectations that Kim will follow through on the pledges in an agreement the two signed at their summit. Pyongyang officials did not say whether Kim Jong-un will show up, according to pool reports.

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