Executive Intelligence Review


Pompeo Optimistic after Meeting Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang

Oct. 7, 2018 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Seoul at 5:15 p.m. local time today (08:15 UTC; 04:15 EDT), following his fourth visit to Pyongyang, where he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. In a brief public appearance with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Pompeo was optimistic but apparently not yet prepared to discuss the results of his meeting with Kim in public. “I will certainly tell you in private about our conversation, but we had a good, productive conversation,” Pompeo said, according to the State Department readout. “As President Trump has said, there are many steps along the way and we took one of those today; it was another step forward.” Pompeo effusively praised the work of Moon and the South Koreans in making that step possible, as Moon praised the U.S. side when he welcomed Pompeo.

Reuters reports that shortly after arriving in South Korea following the visit, Pompeo posted a photo of himself walking with Kim on Twitter, saying:

“Had a good trip to #Pyongyang to meet with Chairman Kim. We continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore Summit. Thanks for hosting me and my team @StateDept.”

An unnamed U.S. official told Reuters separately that Pompeo’s trip to North Korea was “better than the last time” but further efforts were needed.

While Pompeo was on his way to Pyongyang, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who handles nuclear weapons issues and negotiations with the United States, arrived in Moscow from Beijing. According to a report in Japan’s Kyodo News Service, Choe will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on Oct. 8, and then, on Oct. 9, she’ll participate in a three-way meeting with Morgulov and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, who doubles as China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs. During her trip, Choe is expected to seek support from China and Russia, both traditional allies of North Korea, as Pyongyang envisions advancing denuclearization talks with Washington, Kyodo reports.