Trump deploys Pompeo to N.Korea to prepare Kim summit

Cheryl Sanders
May 9, 2018

Kim also expressed hope that the U.S. and North Korea would take "phased and synchronous measures" to achieve denuclearisation and peace, Xinhua said, signalling Pyongyang's demands for a quid pro quo.

Mr Kim visited China in March for the first time since taking power six years ago, a trip that was not publicly confirmed by the two sides until after he had returned to North Korea by armoured train. Trump has said the meeting could take place at either the heavily fortified demilitarized zone between North and South Korea or in Singapore. It would be a great thing if they are.

A mysterious high-ranking official who visited the northern Chinese port of Dalian under massive security on Monday and Tuesday was North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"We've been asking for the release of these detainees for 17 months", Pompeo said.

Although there were no guarantees that the American prisoners would be freed during Pompeo's visit, U.S. officials said their release would be a significant goodwill gesture ahead of the Trump-Kim summit that is expected later this month or in early June.

Abe met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago last month, where the two "affirmed their strong determination to strengthen our shared resolve on North Korea, and increase the capability of the U.S. -Japan Alliance to confront all emerging threats to peace, stability, and an global order based on the rule of law", the White house said at the time.

"Headed back to #DPRK at the invitation of the North Korean leadership".

Pompeo said he plans to raise the issue of the American prisoners but said he did not have any commitments for their release.

In remarks to the media aboard his plane later Tuesday, Pompeo said the visit last month was "a limited diplomatic discussion" - one that he aims to build upon this time around.

The North's Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday carried a recent commentary of the Rodong Sinmun, which denounced Japan's military for staging its first joint exercise with Britain's navy off Kanto for a sea blockade against North Korea.

"We think relationships are building with North Korea", Trump added.

The North has long demanded the withdrawal of USA troops from the peninsula and an end to its nuclear umbrella over South Korea.

North Korea, which already possesses nuclear weapons, has grabbed headlines with frequent missile tests in recent years, even demonstrating a capacity to hit the mainland U.S.

Trump says the time and date of his planned meeting with Kim have now been agreed to, but he has yet to reveal where or when it will happen.

"I did get a sense that he was serious", Pompeo said of Kim. "We're not going to do this in small increments, where the world is coerced into relieving economic pressures".

"We are not going to fall for theatrical pronouncements on the end of their nuclear program".

Japan, which has by far the most hardline position of the North's neighbours, has been left watching from the sidelines, uneasy at the pace of events and at what it sees as an unwarranted softening towards an untrustworthy Pyongyang.

Other reports by iNewsToday