Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Pompeo holds out Vietnam model for N

The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang North Korea Friday World War 3: North Korea warns US attitude is 'highly REGRETTABLE' as tensions soar
Melinda Barton | 10 July, 2018, 05:06

"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed", Trump said in a tweet on Monday morning, referring to the North Korean leader and their vaguely worded four-point joint agreement reached at a summit meeting last month in Singapore.

At the same time the USA state department was forced to deny reports Mr Pompeo gave Kim Jong Un a CD of Elton John's Rocket Man - a playful reference to Donald Trump's nickname for the North Korean leader.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed North Korea's accusation of a "gangster-like mindset" in denuclearization talks, saying the two nations had productive conversations that will continue in the days ahead.

While Kim agreed to work toward denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, which was largely in line with Pyongyang's stance since 1990s, Trump apparently had a different understanding of what was achieved at the first meeting between North Korea and a sitting USA president. He added, "While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the relaxation of the existing sanctions regime".

"If they are able to do this, they will be remembered, and Chairman Kim will be remembered, as a hero of the Korean people".

While the North, in a statement by Korean Central News Agency, described the visit as "regrettable", explaining that the United States had suddenly introduced "conditions and excuses" to circumvent a request to formally end the Korean War.

He said North Korea understood that denuclearisation must be "complete" and "verified".

"That was a fairly serious insult directed against Pompeo", said Christopher Hill, who formerly served as US ambassador to South Korea and lead negotiator with North Korea. "We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea".

"And to our North Korean friends, I can't say the word friend yet".

"We thought that the US side would come with a constructive proposal which accords with the spirit of the DPRK-US summit meeting and talks", it added.

While trying to keep the Chinese on board for North Korea negotiations, Trump took a tough stance on trade with China, slapping tariffs last week on $34 billion in Chinese exports to the United States, prompting retaliation in kind from Beijing. "But this expectation and hope of ours was so naive as to be gullible", the statement said.

It downplayed the significance of the United States suspending its military exercises with South Korea, something trumpeted by Trump after the summit as a success, by saying it made a larger concession by blowing up the tunnels at a nuclear test site.

Mr Pompeo did not meet Mr Kim.

There is little love lost between Scarborough and the president, with Trump previously hitting out at the presenters, dubbing them "Psycho Joe" and "low I.Q. Crazy Mika", the latter of whom he claimed "was bleeding badly from a face-lift" while visiting Mar-a-Lago around New Year's Eve.

There was speculation that during his trip to Pyongyang, Pompeo would bring back the remains of some American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Officials from the two sides would meet next week in Panmunjom, on the border between the two Koreas, to discuss the return of the remains of roughly 7,000 US soldiers missing since the 1950-1953 Korean War.