Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Pompeo seeking progress in North Korea as United States struggles to craft strategy

Pompeo seeking progress in North Korea as United States struggles to craft strategy

The two Koreas swapped players for two mixed competitions Wednesday, one each for men and women, at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium in Pyongyang, the North's capital.

Mr Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Friday for a two-day visit - his third trip to the isolated state since taking the secretary of state job in April - and he was met at the airport by senior official Kim Yong Chol. If the nuclear talks bog down, it could mean curtains for inter-Korean detente. "Contrary to our military's suspension of joint Korea-U.S. military exercises, North Korea is conducting military exercises on a scale similar to previous years".

Pompeo will stay in the Paekhwawon, or 100 Flowers Garden, a prestigious guesthouse where former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun stayed during his summit with Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, in 2007.

Officials from Seoul who sat at the podium were Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon; Roh Tae-kang, second vice minister of culture, sports and tourism; Bang Yeul, head of the Korean Basketball Association; and a general director-level official from the Prime Ministers' Office.

North Korea has said it will not comply with Tokyo's request for a resolution of the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North decades ago unless Tokyo lifts unilateral economic sanctions, sources close to bilateral ties said Thursday. Moon Chung-in noted that while the current relationship between South Korea, North Korea and the United States, was conducive to finding peace for all parties, that could well change. Whether this policy actually works depends heavily on the U.S. honoring the deal, but once again suggests North Korea envisions a different future from the endless military buildup of the past.

In the flurry of diplomatic activity that followed, it was South Korean diplomats who conveyed Kim Jong Un's desire to meet Trump.

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National security adviser John Bolton, who has expressed hardline views on North Korea, said Sunday that Pompeo will present Pyongyang with a plan to complete the dismantling of the North's nuclear and missile programs in one year.

Just weeks after Pres. Donald Trump declared North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat to the world, satellite images revealed the country has spent the past several months upgrading its ability to make solid-fuel ballistic missiles.

For South Korean President Moon Jae-in, there is real reason to worry.

The musical offering came at the behest of President Trump himself.

Moon is also a liberal, but unlike his predecessors, he isn't likely to continue engagement if it widens a rift with Washington, Choi said.

Despite the lingering questions, Trump expressed optimism about the efforts to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions. "He knows that real progress in inter-Korean relations can only be achieved through denuclearization".

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