World Secretary of State Pompeo leaves North Korea with promise of more talks but no tangible breakthrough

16:25  07 july  2018
16:25  07 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Working groups on denuclearization set up by Pompeo and North Koreans: report

  Working groups on denuclearization set up by Pompeo and North Koreans: report U.S. and North Korean officials have set up working groups to deal with “nitty gritty stuff” including validation of efforts to achieve denuclearization, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said on Saturday, the second day of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang.

He didn't cite any major breakthroughs . Ahead of the visit, the State Department did not make promises about what Pompeo might walk away with. After the meetings, Pompeo admitted that certain areas of U.S.- North Korea negotiations still have a long way to go.

The United States recently announced the suspension of military drills with South Korea but is reluctant to offer more concessions unless North Korea starts denuclearizing.A look at what Washington wants North Korea to do and vice versa as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in

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TOKYO —Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came away from a two-day visit to North Korea on Saturday without meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or securing a breakthrough in efforts to implement the denuclearization agreement signed by Washington and Pyongyang in Singapore last month.

But the top U.S. diplomat — before leaving Pyongyang — said the meetings with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, were “productive” and he claimed progress on “central issues” between the two longtime adversaries.

His rosy outlook was almost immediately rejected by North Korea’s foreign ministry, which called the talks “regrettable” and accused the United States of making unilateral demands for denuclearization. Pompeo just hours earlier said the two sides engaged in “good-faith negotiations.”

Pompeo: North Korea understands scope of U.S. denuclearization request

  Pompeo: North Korea understands scope of U.S. denuclearization request U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he was confident that North Korea understood the scope of the U.S. desire for complete denuclearization as the two countries negotiate after President Donald Trump's summit this month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "We've been pretty unambiguous in our conversations about what we mean when we say complete denuclearization," Pompeo told a Senate subcommittee hearing.He said he would be leading continuing talks with Pyongyang and that he was optimistic the United States would begin receiving remains of U.S. soldiers from the Korean War "in the not-too-distant future.

SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Friday for talks with officials on North Korea ’s denuclearization, according to a pool report by reporters traveling with him.

A look at what Washington wants North Korea to do and vice versa as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives Friday in Pyongyang for two days of talks . FILE - In this June.

Pompeo has come under increasing pressure to produce tangible results from a June 12 summit that President Trump quickly touted as a game-changing moment that eliminated North Korea’s nuclear threat.

But analysts said the reality is now sinking in that any final accord between the two nations to eliminate Pyongyang’s sophisticated nuclear and missile arsenal will be a long slog with no guarantee of success.

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“While we were hopeful there would be some sort of breakthrough, it seems both sides agreed to merely keep talking,” said Harry Kazianis, an Asia expert at the Center for the National Interest.

Pompeo told reporters that the two countries would soon hold working-level talks on the destruction of Pyongyang’s missile-engine-testing facility. He also said Pentagon officials will meet with their North Korean counterparts on or near July 12 at the demilitarized zone between the Koreas to discuss the return of the remains of U.S. soldiers from the Korean War.

As Pompeo heads to North Korea, State Department denies softening

  As Pompeo heads to North Korea, State Department denies softening The State Department on Thursday denied that the United States had softened its approach toward North Korean denuclearization, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Pyongyang hoping to agree a roadmap for its nuclear disarmament. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Our policy toward North Korea has not changed," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on the way to Pyongyang."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," she added.

The United States appears to have shelved an "all or nothing" approach to North Korean denuclearization as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to head back to North Korea this week The South Koreans , who have been pursuing their own talks with North Korea , argued that

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is landing in Pyongyang, North Korea , on Friday for a series of talks aimed at persuading the country to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs

Last month, Trump told a crowd of supporters that the remains of 200 people had “been sent back,” but U.S. military officials later said that was not the case. U.S. officials viewed the issue as an easy confidence-building measure to demonstrate North Korea’s sincerity and have been frustrated with the speed of Pyongyang’s follow-through.

Pompeo said both the testing facility issue and recovering U.S. remains still need to be finalized.

“We now have a meeting set up for July 12 — it could move by one day or two — where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains,” he said.

When asked if he got any closer to setting out a timeline to denuclearize, Pompeo said, “I’m not going to get into details of our conversations but we spent a good deal of time talking . . . and I think we made progress in every element of our discussions.”

Pompeo’s visit to North Korea forced the United States to postpone a planned meeting of U.S. and Indian defense and foreign ministers, so expectations were high among Japanese and South Korean officials that Pompeo would meet with Kim Jong Un during the two-day visit. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, however, said the United States had no expectation of a meeting with Kim.

Pompeo calls talks with North Korea on returning service members' remains 'productive'

  Pompeo calls talks with North Korea on returning service members' remains 'productive' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that talks over the weekend between the United States and North Korea on the return of US service members' remains were "productive, cooperative and resulted in firm commitments."The secretary of state also announced that both sides agreed to recommence field operations in North Korea to search for the estimated 5,300 Americans who never returned home from the Korean War.

A look at what Washington wants North Korea to do and vice versa as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives Friday in Pyongyang for two days of talks . ___ u.s. demands. The United States wants North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs entirely

A look at what Washington wants North Korea to do and vice versa as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives Friday in Pyongyang for two days of talks . ___ u.s. demands. The United States wants North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs entirely

“Chairman Kim is keeping his distance, perhaps considering how he will able to win sanctions relief without taking serious denuclearization steps,” said Patrick Cronin, an Asia expert at the Center for a New American Security.

Ahead of the new round of talks, Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s septuagenarian former spy chief, teased Pompeo, suggesting that the “serious” negotiations the night before may have caused Pompeo to lose sleep.

“We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday. So thinking about those discussions, you might have not slept well last night,” Kim said.

“Director Kim, I slept just fine,” Pompeo responded, according to a pool report provided by reporters accompanying the secretary of state.

Kim, a regime hard-liner who is careful not to act outside North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s instructions, said he needed to “clarify” aspects of his nearly three-hour negotiations Friday with Pompeo, a desire the top U.S. diplomat immediately echoed.

“There are things that I have to clarify as well,” Pompeo said.

The display of small talk between North Korean and U.S. officials, a rarity given the infrequent contacts between the longtime adversaries, revealed both the tension at the heart of the nuclear negotiations and the increasing familiarity of the two men who have become diplomatic counterparts during Pompeo’s three visits to Pyongyang and Kim’s visit to New York City in May.

Report: North Koreans skip meeting to discuss remains of American troops

  Report: North Koreans skip meeting to discuss remains of American troops North Korean officials reportedly suggested talking with United Nations military leaders instead.Yonhap News in South Korea reported that North Korea asked the United Nations Command to hold "general-level military talks" about returning the remains of American troops killed in the Korean War.

A look at what Washington wants North Korea to do and vice versa as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives Friday in Pyongyang for two days of talks . ___ u.s. demands. The United States wants North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs entirely

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during an event to unveil the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. By David Brunnstrom, John Walcott and Hyonhee Shin. The South Koreans , who have been pursuing their own talks with North Korea , argued that step-by-step negotiations were more

Nauert said Pompeo was being “very firm” in seeking three basic goals from the visit: the complete denuclearization of North Korea, security assurances and the repatriation of fallen soldiers.

Diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations, said the United States continues to struggle to develop a shared understanding of what denuclearization means to North Korea.

Adding to the pressure on Pompeo to deliver tangible results is a leaked U.S. intelligence assessment casting doubt on North Korea’s willingness to relinquish its arsenal.

Nauert said Pompeo called Trump on Saturday morning to update him on the talks, a call that included White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton.

During the visit, Nauert said, the two sides agreed to set up working groups to deal with the “nitty-gritty stuff,” including verification of efforts to achieve denuclearization, but there was no indication that the North Korean working group would be empowered by Kim Jong Un, a necessary ingredient for any progress.

Following the Singapore summit, senior U.S. and North Korean diplomats struggled to maintain basic communication, leading to concerns that the talks would require Pompeo, who has many other responsibilities, to devote an unmanageable amount of time on the Korea issue.

The top U.S. diplomat said Saturday the two sides “laid out a path for further negotiation” among lower-ranking officials.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the ability for those more junior officials to work productively is critical.

“What concerns me at this stage is the secretary of state flying all the way from Washington to Pyongyang to try to engage in detailed working-level negotiations as an ongoing approach to negotiating denuclearization,” he said. “That’s unsustainable.”

john.hudson@washpost.com

Trump suggests China might be interfering in U.S.-North Korea talks .
President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that China might be seeking to derail U.S. efforts aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, but said he was confident that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would uphold a pact the two agreed on last month. In his first remarks about challenging diplomatic talks held at the weekend that sowed fresh doubts over North Korea's willingness to give up its nuclear arsenal, Trump said China "may be exerting negative pressure" in reaction to punitive U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.U.S.

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