Pompeo Faces 'Extraordinary Challenge' on NoKo Denuclearization Timeline — Ex-CIA Officer

08 July, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Carlos George
  • Korean War

Last year, amid escalating rhetoric between the two countries, Trump repeatedly referred to Kim as "Rocket Man" and "Little Rocket Man" and brought up the nicknames at the recent summit.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un a gift from President Donald Trump - a CD with Elton John's song, "Rocket Man", according South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

Citing sources in Washington, The Chosun Ilbo newspaper reports that the presents - the other of which is a letter from the USA president - reflect Mr Trump's expectation that Mr Kim will follow through on the denuclearisation pledge he made during their summit in Singapore last month. So Trump sent Pompeo with a copy of the song on CD.

Now, he'll be able to hear the tune, and maybe return the favour with a mix tape.

Mr. Pompeo was greeted Friday night North Korea time at a Pyongyang airport by Kim Yong-chol, a top aid to Mr. Kim, after which two reportedly met for almost three hours and made plans to meet again Saturday.

The Journal report comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Pyongyang on Friday, where he is likely to push North Korea for more solid commitments regarding denuclearization.

Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday that he expects Pompeo to discuss with the North Koreans a plan to dismantle the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in a year.

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But that does mark a shift from the U.S.'s earlier demands for North Korea's "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization".

"If they're serious, then we can get down to the business of defining the terms of final denuclearization", said one official. "We are committed to a denuclearized North Korea and Secretary Pompeo looks forward to continuing his consultations with North Korean leaders to follow up on the commitments made at the Singapore summit".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the conning tower of a sub during his inspection of Korean People's Army Naval Unit 167 in this undated photo.

"Eight months, no nuclear testing, no missiles, no anything", he added, saying that lack of testing by North Korea was a sign of success.

"The more you come, the more trust we can build between one another".

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center Andrew Kim - both of whom attended working-level talks with DPRK officials at Panmunjom last weekend - are expected to join the team in Pyongyang separately.

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