Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

South Korea mulling tour programmes in North Korea

It's the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader It's the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader
Kenny Thornton | 14 June, 2018, 18:50

"There has been unanimity in that set of objectives, and I'm heartened by that".

Contrasting the Trump policy with previous United States administrations, Pompeo said: "In the past, they were providing economic and financial relief before. complete denuclearisation had taken place".

It was the first time a sitting USA president met face to face with a North Korean leader.

"We believe that Kim Jong-un understands the urgency [of denuclearisation]", said Mr Pompeo.

Frank Aum, a senior expert on North Korea at the U.S. Institute of Peace, told NPR that "Pompeo is correct that a significant portion of the denuclearization process could technically occur in two-and-a-half years", including the freezing of all nuclear and missile activities and the shutting down of known nuclear facilities.

He thanked Moon, who has met with Kim twice since April, for his mediation between North Korea and the U.S., saying that if it had not been for Moon's effort, the talks between Trump and Kim would not have been possible.

Pompeo also said he anticipates the U.S. would next speak to North Korean officials "fairly quickly after we return to our home countries", adding that he was "very confident" that some form of engagement between the two sides would take place in the next week.

North Korean state media reported on Wednesday that Kim and Trump had recognised the principle of "step-by-step and simultaneous action" to achieve peace and denuclearisation.

Trump has repeatedly touted his role in bringing the reclusive North Korea to the negotiating table, a feat that he says his predecessors were unable to pull off.

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Washington remained committed to the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearisation of North Korea, Pompeo added, after the historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore drew criticism for its vague wording on plans for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. "Verification is essential to that. Those have mechanisms for relief contained in them, and we agreed that at the appropriate time that those would be considered", Pompeo said, standing next to the Chinese government's top diplomat, the state councillor, Wang Yi.

The 42-minute-long program, narrated by North Korea's most famous newscaster, Ri Chun-hee, was broadcast on state-run television Thursday, two days after the historic summit in Singapore and a full day after Kim returned home to his country's capital, Pyongyang.

After arriving back in the U.S., the president also tweeted that "everybody can now feel much safer". "We've got a lot of killers. There's a lot of work left to do".

The first 12-second handshake between the two men was firm and appeared to be one between equals, signalling confidence, professionalism and assertiveness, said Ms Teo. "I just have to be honest with you".

The lack of details contributed to an air of skepticism in Washington about what Trump accomplished. At the same time, would Kim Jong Un do away with his nuclear weapons program even if he received such guarantees? "Trying to reason with someone like that is like trying to hand feed a shark". Would you get out of Syria?

The summer exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, consists mainly of computer simulations to hone joint decision-making and planning.

While Moon didn't address the drills in his own public remarks with Pompeo, he said the meeting had reduced the threat of war.

"If North Korea sincerely carries out denuclearization steps and North Korea's dialogue with the South and the United States to resolve hostilities goes well, it will be necessary to flexibly change military pressure against the North to abide by the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration", Moon said, referring to an agreement on better ties he made with Kim in an April summit.

He said that Kim is "very smart" and a "good negotiator".

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