Executive Intelligence Review


Pompeo Takes Sharp North Korean Comments on Negotiations in Stride

July 8, 2018 (EIRNS)—To hear the trans-Atlantic media tell it, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s two days of negotiations with North Korea’s lead negotiator Kim Yong Chol, ended in utter failure, proving that President Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un was a pipedream, and that the hard, geopolitical reality has now reasserted itself. But that’s not what happened, nor is it Pompeo’s view of where things stand.

After the two days of meetings, which Pompeo characterized positively, the North Korean Foreign Ministry issued a sharp statement reported by the official Korean Central News Agency:

“We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders’ summit. But the U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization, just calling for CVID [complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization].... We were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures. However, the attitude and stance the U.S. showed in the first high-level meeting was no doubt regrettable. Our expectations and hopes were so naïve it could be called foolish.”

The statement further stated that the talks were “very concerning,” and had led to a “dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.” The North Koreans said that they had raised the issue of formally ending the Korean War, but that the U.S. came up with “conditions and excuses” to delay such a declaration.

The Foreign Ministry statement was careful to affirm that “we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump,” stressing that he must not allow “headwinds” against the “wills of the leaders”—a clear reference to those who would sabotage the Singapore summit process. Pompeo also received a personal letter to Trump from Chairman Kim Jong Un, whose contents have not been made public.

Pompeo, in Tokyo today to meet with the Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers, took the North Korean statement in stride, telling the press:

“People are going to make stray comments after meetings. If I paid attention to the press, I’d go nuts.... If those requests [the U.S. presented] were gangster-like, the world is a gangster.”

He emphasized that “the road ahead will be difficult and challenging and we know that critics will try to minimize the work that we’ve achieved.” Pompeo then added pressure back from the American side:

“While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the easing of the sanctions regime. Sanctions will remain in place until final fully verified denuclearization as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong Un has occurred.”