‘Good Progress’ in NKorea Peace Talks
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reported “good progress” in meetings with a top NKorean official Thursday as they prepare for the Summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
President Trump told reporters that NKorean officials may come to Washington Friday with a letter from Kim.
This will be the 1st summit between the U.S. and the North after six decades of hostility.
The discussion in New York lasted a little more than 2 hours.
After leaving the meeting venue at the residence of the deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary Pompeo tweeted that he and the NKorean had substantive talks on priorities for a potential Summit.
“Good progress today during our meetings with Kim Yong Chol and his team. #NorthKorea and the world would benefit greatly from the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Secretary Pompeo said.
The US Secretary of State, who spoke with President Trump Wednesday night and with National Security Adviser John Bolton Thursday, was accompanied by Andrew Kim, the head of a CIA unit assigned to work on NKorea, and Mark Lambert, the head of the State Department’s Korea desk.
“We are doing very well with North Korea,” President Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews before departing on a trip to Texas. “Our Secretary of State is having very good meetings. I believe they will be coming down to Washington Friday. A letter being delivered to me from Kim Jong Un. It is very important to them.”
“I think it will be very positive. We will see what happens. It is all a process. Hopefully we will have a meeting on the (June) 12th,” President Trump said. He added there may even need to be a second or third meeting, but still hedged, saying “maybe we’ll have none.”
Kim Jong Un, in a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Thursday, complained about “US hegemonism,” a comment that may complicate the summit plans. “As we move to adjust to the political situation in the face of U.S. hegemonism, I am willing to exchange detailed and in-depth opinions with your leadership and hope to do so moving forward,” Chairman Kim told FM Sergey Lavrov.
The US side is pressing its demand for “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.”
A senior State Department official said Wednesday that for a Summit to talk place, NKorea will have to make clear “what they’re willing to do” in terms of commitments and action. The US is willing to provide the NKoreans security guarantees and help them achieve economic prosperity if they denuclearize.
Kim Yong Chol, Vice Chairman of the NKorean ruling party’s central committee, was allowed into the United States despite being on a US sanctions list.