Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says talks with North Korea 'substantive'

Glen Norman
May 31, 2018

Newly built residences are being promoted in North Korea state media, following recent pledges from Kim Jong Un to his people that he would focus on developing the economy.

"We did think the detonation would only affect a small part, but many are now saying the explosion's impact was greater than surmised", the source said, adding ordinary North Koreans thought it was "fascinating" foreign reporters flew into the country to witness the dismantlement. It's the highest-level official North Korean visit to the United States in 18 years.

Japan is urging the United States and other countries to stick to a strict imposition of U.N. sanctions on North Korea until it abandons the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Pompeo talks with Kim Yong Chol - the most critical of three tracks of negotiations now taking place between the two governments in the US, in the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone, and in Singapore - are aimed at determining whether a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, originally scheduled for June 12 but later cancelled by Trump, can be restored. That suggests Kim might have chosen to first go to NY because it would make it easier for him to communicate with officials in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.

Pompeo met with Kim Yong Chol, one of the North Korean leader's closest aides and the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the USA in 18 years. The two planned a "day full of meetings" Thursday, the White House said.

The directives will raise eyebrows among North Koreans who now will not know what to believe about recent developments, despite some signs of enthusiasm about détente with South Korea and the US, said a source from North Pyongan province who declined to be named.

Kim Yong Chol is a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee. The ships were connected by a hose and engaged in some kind of activity, ministry officials said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has maintained a hard line against the North, calling for continued sanctions and a maximum-pressure campaign on Pyongyang.

On May 26, Kim had an unannounced meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is acting as a go-between for the high-stakes summit between the North and the US since the recent breakthrough in détente between Seoul and Pyongyang, to get the summit with Trump back on track. Trump hosted South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week.

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