Shortly after arriving in South Korea, Pompeo posted a photo of himself walking along 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.”
Kim and Pompeo met for about two hours, and then had lunch together at the Paekhwawon, or 100 Flowers Garden, a prestigious state guesthouse, for another hour and a half, according to a pool report.
“It’s a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries,” Kim said, speaking through an interpreter, as he sat down at the lunch table with Pompeo.
“Thank you for hosting, President Trump sends his regards. And we had a very successful morning, so thank you and I am looking forward to our time here at lunch as well,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo’s last trip did not go well. He left Pyongyang in July hailing progress, only for North Korea to denounce him for making “gangster-like demands.” Pompeo did not meet Kim on that trip.
Pompeo visited Tokyo on Friday and is also due to travel to Beijing before returning home on Monday.
Pompeo had said en route to Asia he aimed “to make sure we understand what each side is truly trying to achieve.” He said he also hoped to agree a “general date and location” for a second summit.
But he declined to comment when asked if he would agree to North Korean demands for a declaration to end the Korean War or to South Korea’s suggestion that to break the current stalemate, he should avoid pressing again for an inventory of North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
Trump has appeared eager to meet Kim again, even though the two sides are seen far from narrowing their differences.
“Trump will likely be tempted to hold such a summit quickly to make history and drive headlines, pointing to another success right before the midterm elections,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest in Washington.
“That could mean the administration offers, and North Korea accepts, a political declaration that ends the Korean War in exchange for a big action toward denuclearization, such as the closing of the Yongbyon nuclear complex.”[mr/reuters]