Kim talks still not confirmed - but there’s progress, Pompeo says

01 June, 2018, 22:00 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Kim Jong-un

"It's much more about personal relations, because I know how much value [the North Koreans] put into this", said Mickey Bergman, a veteran negotiator with North Koreans and vice president of the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing the release of political prisoners around the world. Trump was expected to meet with the official in the Oval Office.

While Cho said an agreement would "not be impossible" to strike during the talks, the run-up to the scheduled June 12 summit has somewhat devolved into a war of the wills over who more wants the meeting.

"I'm still convinced that if he's in this process, even if the summit is ongoing and we're moving out, if this thing isn't heading towards the obvious objective he'll pull out".

The two countries, eyeing the first summit between the USA and the North after six decades of hostility, have also been holding negotiations in Singapore and the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. "The meetings have been very positive".

In Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un welcomed visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the first meeting between a Russian official and Kim as head of state.

This visit comes on the sidelines of several diplomatic efforts made by Seoul, Washington and Pyongyang to restore a meeting between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

Last month North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho held rare talks with Lavrov in Moscow as Pyongyang moves to improve strained ties with global powers. Jo presented Clinton with a letter inviting him to meet the North Korean leader in Pyongyang, an invitation Clinton ultimately turned down.

Kim Jong Un's comment on USA hegemonism wasn't carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, which targets an external audience.

North Korea has invited foreign journalists into the secretive state to show the dismantling of nuclear test sites.

Gen Kim Yong-chol is the most senior North Korean to visit the United States in almost 20 years.


North Korea's flurry of diplomatic activity following a torrid run in nuclear weapons and missile tests in 2017 suggests that Kim is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the global legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

His visit comes a day after he met the U.S. secretary of state in NY to discuss a historic summit between the two nations' leaders.

The White House emphasised that it has remained in close contact with South Korean and Japanese officials as preparations for the talks continue.

Pompeo met with Kim, one of the North Korean leader's closest aides, at the apartment residence of the USA deputy ambassador to the United Nations in NY.

He is the vice chairman of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

However, officials both sides have since said they are still working toward making the June 12 meeting happen.

Washington would need "action" and "commitment" from the North, and in turn, the official said, offering a "brighter future for North Korea if it makes a smart choice".

The letter follows Trump announcing plans last week to cancel the planned Trump-Kim summit in Singapore on the country's nuclear program.

Russian Federation is the latest major nation to reach out to North Korea since Trump accepted Kim's proposal for a summit.

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