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Pompeo in Pyongyang hopes to ‘fill in’ denuclearization detail

Pompeo in Pyongyang hopes to ‘fill in’ denuclearization detail

Posted July. 07, 2018 07:18,   

Updated July. 07, 2018 07:18


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo buckled down after arriving in Pyongyang around Friday noon to add details to “complete denuclearization,” which had been negotiated at the North Korea–U.S. summit. Mr. Pompeo was “urgently inserted” to a visit to Pyongyang as constructive denuclearization has not been extended for 25 days since the summit. Accordingly, in case there is no progress in negotiation regarding denuclearization during this visit, some show concern that North Korea–U.S. relationship in the future may be on a rollercoaster again.

U.S. negotiation team led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo embarked on a schedule of one night and two days Friday after arriving at Pyongyang on a private plane. The North Korea–U.S. summit this time, which is a third of its kind following those at the end of March and May 9 in Pyongyang led by Mr. Pompeo, is expected to have in-depth discussions by linking a substantial roadmap for denuclearization and guarantee of the North Korean regime.

Mr. Pompeo told journalists who accompanied him that President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to complete denuclearization and that he is “seeking to fill-in some details on these commitments and continue the momentum toward implementation of what the two leaders promised each other and the world.”

Mike Pompeo was greeted at the Pyongyang airport by Kim Yong Chol, a senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. He was greeted to stay at the Baekhwawon guest house. The Associated Press reported that Pompeo engaged in a meeting with Kim Yong Chol at his house in the afternoon. Although various assumptions were made previously as Mr. Pompeo’s counterpart for the following summits was expressed as “North Korea’s high-level official” in the joint statement for the N. Korea–U.S. summit, the “Kim Yong Chol card,” who dealt with Pompeo before, was maintained.

“I really believe that he (Kim Jong Un) sees a different future for North Korea,” President Trump expressed his anticipation before Pompeo’s arrival in Pyongyang on Thursday (local time).

In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com