Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Trump's deal making key to N Korea talks - USA envoy

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Patty Aguilar | 20 April, 2018, 03:52

Mike Pompeo spent his Easter weekend in North Korea as Donald Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director, but it's nearly certain he will be leaving America's chair vacant at a major upcoming G7 meeting in Toronto.

President Trump likes Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo would have had a lot to bring to the table on that last topic, since Trump confirmed Wednesday that Pompeo paid a clandestine visit to North Korea nearly two weeks ago for talks with its leader Kim Jong Un.

Since that historic visit, the U.S. Senate foreign relations committee has been grilling Pompeo on his nomination to replace Rex Tillerson, who was sacked by Trump.

Mr Pompeo is predicted to be confirmed as the top United States diplomat by the Republican-controlled Senate in the coming weeks.

The news of his visit came after President Trump appeared to say he had met Mr Kim in remarks that were later clarified by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. So, from the Administration's perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two.

Media reports have challenged this scenario, saying the president tends to take a casual approach to his briefings and that the material plays down or avoids matters relating to Russian Federation, which might upset Trump.

"I think there is a very good chance of doing it, we're having very good dialogue".

President Donald Trump voiced optimism Wednesday about his potential summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but he vowed to cancel the meeting or walk out if there are signs it "is not going to be fruitful".

'I don't think denuclearisation has different meanings for South and North Korea, ' he said.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently traveled to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un, a highly unusual, secret visit undertaken as the enemy nations prepare for a meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim. He has suggested support for regime change in both countries. That would send the matter to the full Senate for a vote, but without the committee's recommendation.

"War is always the last resort", he said.

But the president clearly could not completely disengage from the daily political combat on the Russian Federation investigation that has defined his time in office.

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"For many years they have been talking to North Korea and nothing has happened".

On March 8, Trump accepted a North Korean proposal to hold a summit, and five days later he fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated Pompeo in his place.

Neither Freeland's office nor the US embassy in Ottawa would offer any comment on the possible USA participation in one of the main ministerial meetings in advance of the G7 leaders' June summit in Quebec - a meeting that is expected to mark Trump's Canadian debut.

Pompeo has also been a leading critic of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. But Trump's confirmation of those discussions is the clearest indication yet that preparations are proceeding for what would be a historic and audacious diplomatic opening.

He graduated at the top of his class at West Point.

After winning election to Congress in 2010 as a Tea Party Republican from Kansas, Pompeo made his mark as a sharp-elbowed partisan. The lightning pace of the new U.S.

Critics, however, say Pompeo has tailored intelligence reports to please the president - rather than give him a straightforward picture of US security issues.

"The folks in Kansas don't think that was accountability", Pompeo said. "We're comfortable. We have great relationships, '" the president said, boosting the private club, which collects dues that enrich Trump.

However, Trump has been critical of the intelligence community in general (though not Pompeo) and the president has taken a less critical position on Russian Federation. The U.S. trade deficit with Japan a year ago was $56.1 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"That's now over", Pompeo added, citing recent actions by the Trump administration that included increased sanctions and the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats.

This is all to say that direct talks can be part of a strategy of coercive diplomacy.

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent.

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