Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Did North Korea's Kim put potatoes over Pompeo?

Did North Korea's Kim put potatoes over Pompeo?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shot back against North Korea on Sunday, saying the regime's criticism that US negotiators acted in a "gangster-like" way during his two-day visit to Pyongyang was unfounded.

"We talked about what the North Koreans are continuing to do and how it's the case that we can get our arms around achieving what Chairman Kim and President Trump both agreed to, which is the complete denuclearisation of North Korea", Pompeo said.

In Tokyo, Pompeo briefed his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the talks, and sought to reassure them that the dialogue with North Korea would continue.

But shortly after he left Pyongyang, North Korea issued an angry statement rejecting what it described as Washington's "gangster-like" demand for rapid nuclear disarmament.

Pompeo said North Korean leadership remained "equally committed" to the goal of denuclearization discussed with Trump during last month's historic summit in Singapore.

US President Donald Trump has said he has "confidence" that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will honor the denuclearisation "contract" they signed, but that China may be seeking to undermine a deal.

It is the first time he has visited North Korea since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

There had been criticism on whether the civilian exercises were adequately preparing South Koreans from North Korean threats. "China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!", Trump added, in what could be a bid to shift the blame away from the North Koreans and onto China. Kim ended Pompeo's visit on a positive note, telling the top USA diplomat just before he boarded his plane, "We will produce an outcome, results".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, a senior North Korean ruling party official, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang on Saturday.

Pompeo said there was progress made in his talks in Pyongyang, calling them "productive", but admitted that there's work to be done on a much-awaited timeline for denuclearization.

On Sunday, the USA secretary of state will meet the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea in Tokyo.

The North Koreans have agreed to a meeting on July 12 at the DMZ (demilitarized zone), which is a border barrier that divides the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, to talk about returning the remains of United States servicemen killed in action during the Korean War. He said North Korea understood that denuclearization must be "fully verified" and "final". "It can be your miracle in North Korea as well", Mr Pompeo said.

Speaking in Tokyo after two days of intense discussions in Pyongyang, Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress and were being conducted in "good faith."

You asked Pompeo: "'Did he sleep well?' If you knew what I knew about what we could do to the leadership of North Korea, you wouldn't sleep very well", Graham said.

"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. "I really believe that he sees a different future for North Korea", Trump told reporters.

Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol noted Saturday that "the world is paying close attention to our meeting".

North Korean authorities are stepping up anti-South Korea lectures following the inter-Korea basketball tournament in Pyongyang last week, according to a South Korean press report, but ordinary North Koreans are not persuaded by the propaganda.

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