Pompeo: 'Bad deal' with North Korea is not an option

Carla Harmon
May 23, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it is ultimately up to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un whether a planned summit with President Donald Trump takes place. "They may end up somewhere in between, which Trump officials sometimes say is unacceptable".

"It may not work out for June 12", Trump said of the Singapore meeting, adding in a now familiar non-committal riff: "if it does not happen, maybe it will happen later".

He said he had raised it with Kim "and it will be part of the discussions as we move forward".

The North has threatened to pull out of an unprecedented summit between Mr Kim and USA president Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12th if Washington demands Pyongyang unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal.

Pompeo: 'Bad deal' with North Korea is not an option

Citing sources familiar with the preparations, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Kim was less concerned about meeting Trump than he was about what might happen at home in Pyongyang while he's gone.

Politically, Trump has invested heavily in the success of the meeting, so most USA officials, as well as outside observers, privately expect it will go ahead. But as the date draws near, Trump's divergence from his top aides, the differences between the two sides and these high stakes are coming into sharp relief. "Why would we live in difficulties because of our nuclear arsenal if and when we build trust with the USA and promise an end to the Korean War". Failure could all but destroy hopes of a peaceful solution to the crisis.

The delegation, which includes White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin and deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, was being dispatched after Trump said on Tuesday there was a "substantial chance" the summit would be called off amid concerns Pyongyang is not prepared to give up its nuclear arsenal. "I don't want to get him in trouble, he lives next to China".

In a Saturday statement on the restaurant workers, Pyongyang said it would "prudently watch the further attitude" of South Korea. Trump has expressed suspicion that the North's recent barbs against the USA were influenced by Kim's unannounced trip to China two weeks ago - his second in as many months. "I don't think anybody's ever been treated better in China in their history", he said.

"The government will swiftly carry out necessary measures for the journalists such as granting approvals for visiting North Korea and providing transportation", the ministry said. The North also threatened to abandon the planned Trump-Kim meeting over USA insistence on rapidly denuclearizing the peninsula, issuing a harshly worded statement that the White House dismissed as a negotiating ploy.

However, the Unification Ministry said today that Pyongyang had now granted them permission. "But let me very clear: nothing has changed about the policy of the United States of America".

"I will guarantee his safety, yes". White House spokesman Raj Shah said the effort would be led by Joe Hagin, deputy chief of staff for operations.

Troy Stangarone, senior director of congressional affairs and trade at the Washington-based non-profit Korea Economic Institute, told Xinhua that despite the recent tensions, a postponement of the Trump-Kim meeting is more likely than cancellation.

"And we find ourselves standing one step closer to the dream of achieving complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and world peace".

U.S. officials were prepared to press Moon on the recent shift in tone, hoping to determine whether it is a signal of changing intentions or whether the North is simply trying to test Trump's willingness to negotiate ahead of the summit.

Other reports by iNewsToday