Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Pompeo: Sanctions to remain until N. Korea 'final' denuclearization

Pompeo: Sanctions to remain until N. Korea 'final' denuclearization Pompeo: Sanctions to remain until N. Korea 'final' denuclearization
Patty Aguilar | 08 July, 2018, 11:28

The statement came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up his trip to Pyongyang aimed at hashing out measures to implement the June 12 summit agreement in Singapore, during which their leaders agreed to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It contradicted statements made earlier by Pompeo, who signaled the visit made "progress on nearly all of the central issues". He stressed there was still more work to be done in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides had set up to deal with specific issues.

But Pyongyang said Saturday of its meetings with Pompeo, "We expected the usa side to come up with constructive measures to help build trust in the spirit of reunion".

The AP report added that North Korean officials said talks were now in a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm".

"We still cherish our good faith in President Trump".

Pompeo could point to no concrete achievement from the talks, aside from an agreement for the two sides to meet again around July 12 in Panmunjom, the border village between the two Koreas, to discuss returning the remains of U.S. soldiers from the 1950-1953 Korean War.

On Sunday, the USA secretary of state will meet the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea in Tokyo.

A meeting will take place between a team from the Pentagon and North Korea at the South-North border next week, Pompeo explained.

She stressed that US policy hasn't changed, but did not explain why they're not using the phrase "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" - a phrase Pompeo himself used leading up to the historic summit between Kim Jong Un and Trump in Singapore on June 12.

And he said progress had been made towards agreeing "the modalities" of North Korea's destruction of a missile facility. "But Washington should not allow nuclear talks to be held hostage to peace talks or else there could be peace with a nuclear-armed North Korea indefinitely". It was an immediate and sharp contradiction to President Donald Trump's rosy descriptions of his North Korea diplomacy.

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Pompeo, however, said more talks were needed on both.

Speaking privately, United States officials suggested the North Korean statement was a negotiating tactic. Pompeo's now in Tokyo, where he will brief officials from Japan and South Korea on Sunday.

"We talked about what the North Koreans are continuing to do and how it's the case that we can get our arms around achieving what Chairman Kim and President Trump both agreed to", Pompeo said.

"Dealing with North Korea is hard because Kim Jong Un wants it to be hard", said Russel, who was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration.

But this week's visit to the North - Pompeo's third this year - did not see him meet with Kim Jong Un, contrary to initial plans for the trip. It also offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site that would "physically affirm" a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles and setting up working-level discussions for the return of United States war remains.

Meanwhile, North Korea says it disagrees with the USA calls for denuclearization, and called the discussions with Pompeo very concerning.

He characterized the discussions as positive, but hours after he left Pyongyang, North Korea issued an angry statement rejecting what it described as Washington's "gangster-like" demand for rapid nuclear disarmament. Mr Pompeo said he "slept just fine". "There are things that I have to clarify", Kim, who serves as vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said.

Earlier rumors during the week stated the State Department's objectives in North Korea had changed and that the Sec. of State may be willing to forgo complete denuclearization.

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