Secretary Of State Pompeo Visits China, Japan, South Korea After Summit

Rosalie Gross
June 15, 2018

The message was passed to the president of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly, Kim Yong Nam, visiting Moscow as the World Cup kicks off in the country.

Mr Putin's invitation to Mr Kim comes after Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visited Pyongyang in May for the first time since 2009.

Seoul's Defense Ministry said the military talks will focus on carrying out agreements from a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in where they vowed to take materialized steps to reduce military tensions and eliminate the danger of war.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono, at a joint press conference in Seoul yesterday morning with Mr Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha, stressed that the US-South Korea military exercises, together with the Japan-US security alliance, "play an essential role" in North-east Asia's security.

Joel Wit, a Stimson Center senior fellow and North Korea expert, told NPR that in such a timeline "you could probably disarm key portions of the North Korea nuclear program".

North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, nor is it the "biggest and most unsafe problem" for the United States, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday on his return from a summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "We all dream of a Korea where all Koreans (north and south) live together in harmony", Trump added. "We are going to get complete denuclearisation; only then will there be relief from the sanctions".

Pompeo flew from Seoul to China's capital, Beijing, later Thursday for a meeting with President Xi Jinping, whose country is believed to wield considerable influence with North Korea as its chief ally and economic lifeline.

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Senator Chris Van Hollen, also a Democrat, said of Trump's tweet about North Korea no longer presenting a threat: "This is truly delusional".

North Korea's state news channel on Thursday was the first to broadcast a 42-minute long video from Trump's meeting this week with Kim Jong Un. "Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", KCNA said.

"We are prepared to start a new history, and we are prepared to write a new chapter between our nations", Trump said.

In Singapore, Kim did not commit to any concrete steps, such as a timetable to end his nuclear weapons programmes, besides reaffirming "his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

China's state-run Xinhua news agency said Taiwan came up in Pompeo's meeting with Xi. The three posed for photos before sitting with their delegations at three tables arranged in a U-shaped formation. In his media briefing in Singapore on Tuesday, Trump mentioned ending the drills, which he described - in language similar to that used by North Korea - as "provocative", saying it would save the the US money. The autumn military drills are scheduled for August this year.

Donald Trump has dismissed concerns about the widely condemned human rights record of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, praising him as a "tough guy", a "smart guy" and a "great negotiator".

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