Monday, 20 August, 2018

Pompeo Already on His Way to North Korea

Trump: Pompeo Traveling to N. Korea to Prepare for Summit The Latest: China, Japan, South Korea open three-way summit | The Tribune
Glenn Montgomery | 09 May, 2018, 00:46

According to Xinua news agency, the two leaders met when Kim Jong Un visited the Chinese port city.

Xi and Kim both pointed out that since their initial summit there had been "positive progress" not only in China-North Korea relations, but in the general situation on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean state media said Kim was "very pleased" that the relationship with China was reaching a high point, and North Korea would cooperate with China more actively as the situation on the Korean peninsula changed.

The talks follow Kim's summit with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea late last month and an expected one with Trump, possibly next month.

Trump and Xi discussed developments on the Korean peninsula and Kim's visit to China during a phone call on Tuesday morning, the White House said.

Speculation had been rife that Kim had travelled to Dalian, not far from the border between China and North Korea, after citizens reported tightened security and traffic controls. It said a North Korean plane was seen parked at the city's airport.

Pompeo's trip comes amid rumors of the release of three USA citizens detained in North Korea. A North Korean official on the Korean Central News Agency referred to the situation, stating "This act can not be construed otherwise than a risky attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one". Trump holds a steady stance that the USA deserves recognition given the timing of the sanctions.

During the summit, Kim and Moon committed themselves to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and pledged to bring a formal end to the Korean War, 65 years after hostilities ceased. Kim visited China for a second time on Monday.

The escalation began as an effort by Trump to reverse the trend of rising trade deficits the United States has with China, which hit a record US$375 billion in 2017 and has continued rising this year.

"In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries had an all-round and in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations and major issues of common concern", Xinhua reported.

Trump has already said that he was not considering reducing the U.S. military's presence in South Korea as part of the negotiations.

Though the USA and President Trump have had an undeniable influence on North Korea's sudden openness to global diplomacy, the rhetoric over summit negotiations have been fluid at best.

In the past North Korea has used the term "hostile policies" in reference to the US troop presence in South Korea, the USA nuclear umbrella covering South Korea and Japan and regular joint military exercises in South Korea.

The latest visit comes after Kim travelled to Beijing in March, his first journey outside the country since becoming leader at the end of 2011, and amid a sudden frenzy of diplomacy.

Posts about unusual traffic jams and security in Dalian popped up on Chinese social media.

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