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Pompeo: North Korea Talks Are On the Right Track

01 June, 2018, 22:01 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • New Mexico Bill Richardson speaks at the Conference on Iran

Quoted by the state news agency, KCNA, Kim said "the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula will be solved on a stage-by-stage basis" in which each party addressed the interests of the other. "The U.S. delegation, led by Ambassador Sung Kim, met with North Korean officials earlier today as well".

The understanding among the U.S. officials is the letter is generally positive and a step in the right direction toward a meeting between Kim and Trump.

But the White House says talks of the "total denuclearization of the peninsula" do not extend to US weapons systems - a defense umbrella covering South Korea which includes nuclear-armed submarines and strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear bombs not based on the peninsula.

President Donald Trump's administration is in diplomatic overdrive with three separate negotiations playing out around the USA and Asia - but he still appears to have little idea what's going on with an on-again, off-again summit with North Korea. There's a very good chance that it won't be done in one meeting or two meetings or three meetings.

Even as he pulled out, though, Trump urged Kim to "call me or write" if he wanted to revive the meeting.

American diplomats are also meeting with North Koreans in the demilitarised zone as well as in Singapore in a bid to secure the 12 June summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim. "That's what these ongoing conversations taking place now will be centered on, as well as the summit that would take place in Singapore".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said that he could not promise that the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un was back on - but added that the U.S. and North Korea were making progress in their ongoing discussions.

The North Korean leader laid his position out during a visit by the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, on Thursday.

Mr Pompeo's remarks came after meeting North Korean vice-chairman Kim Yong-Chol in NY.

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"North Koreans have defined what they want as security, and they have determined some years ago that security could be found with nuclear weapons", said the official.

There were reports earlier on Wednesday that South Korean officials were noting "quite significant" differences between the United States and North Korea over denuclearization.

Last week, Trump said it was possible a meeting could still take place but warned North Korea against committing "foolish" acts.

Experts agree that a meeting between Kim and Trump would legitimize a pariah nation and grant North Korea a long-term wish.

After decades of tension on the Korean peninsula and antagonism with the United States, Washington has been demanding North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program amid reports that it is close to being able to launch a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland. The two planned a "day full of meetings" Thursday, the White House said.

"Delivering the letter to the president", the official added, "if there is such a letter, is something that Kim Yong-chol came to the United States prepared to do, and we'll have to see".

Kim's letter, presented by Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, was viewed as an effort to bolster ongoing negotiations and ease tensions after Trump abruptly canceled the summit last week amid escalating threats from Pyongyang.

During his tenure as a senior intelligence official, Kim was accused by South Korea of masterminding deadly attacks on a South Korean warship and an island in 2010.

A senior US State Department official briefed reporters separately as Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol met late on Wednesday. Trump hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week.

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