Korean Penin­sula: Peace on the Hori­zon

The US looks likely to reach a com­pro­mise with North Korea – if both par­ties can build trust

NewsChina - - CONTENTS - By Li Jing

“It's a very nice day that prom­ises a good fu­ture for both coun­tries,” said a smil­ing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as he sat down for a meal with US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo at a wel­come lun­cheon in Py­ongyang on Oc­to­ber 7, 2018.

From Oc­to­ber 5 to 8, Pom­peo vis­ited Ja­pan, North Korea, South Korea and China. Be­fore the lun­cheon, Pom­peo went so far as to put his arm around Kim's shoul­der. It was the fourth time the US sec­re­tary of state vis­ited Py­ongyang this year. The pre­vi­ous time – af­ter the Trump-kim meet­ing in Sin­ga­pore – he failed to even se­cure a meet­ing with the North Korean leader.

“We had a great, great visit this morn­ing,” Pom­peo re­sponded. “Pres­i­dent Trump sends his re­gards. And we had a very suc­cess­ful morn­ing, so thank you.” Ac­cord­ing to US State De­part­ment spokes­woman Heather Nauert, the two dis­cussed a time and place for the next sum­mit be­tween their na­tion's lead­ers, and said that North Korea would al­low in­ter­na­tional nu­clear in­spec­tors to en­ter the dis­man­tled Pung­gye-ri nu­clear test site to en­sure it will never be used again.

“Had a good trip to Py­ongyang to meet with Chair­man Kim. We con­tinue to make progress on agree­ments made at Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit,” Pom­peo later posted on his Twit­ter ac­count.

Paving the Road

De­spite the Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit in June 2018 and the re­lease of a joint state­ment, the two na­tions have to date failed to re­solve their dis­putes over the out­come of the his­toric talk.

The US in­sisted that North Korea dis­man­tle its nu­clear pro­grams be­fore any fur­ther talks can be held but North Korea's stance is that de­nu­cle­ariza­tion mea­sures and con­ces­sions will be matched “ac­tion for ac­tion.” The ne­go­ti­a­tions reached a dead­lock. Pom­peo orig­i­nally planned to visit North Korea in late Au­gust 2018, but can­celed the trip be­cause Trump was dis­sat­is­fied with the progress of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

One month later, how­ever, Trump an­nounced dur­ing the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly on Septem­ber 24 that he was likely to meet Kim Jong-un for a sec­ond time soon and that Pom­peo would ar­range the talks. Sev­eral days later, Trump made an odd rev­e­la­tion at a do­mes­tic rally that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “fell in love” be­cause of Kim's “beau­ti­ful let­ters.”

On Septem­ber 26, Pom­peo held talks with North Korean For­eign Min­is­ter Ri Yong-ho in New York where he was at­tend­ing the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly. Ac­cord­ing to the US State De­part­ment, it was then that Pom­peo ac­cepted Kim's in­vi­ta­tion to visit North Korea.

On Oc­to­ber 2, US State De­part­ment spokes­woman Heather Nauert said dur­ing a rou­tine press con­fer­ence that Pom­peo would visit North Korea for the fourth time within a year, which re­flected the mo­men­tum of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, as well as US de­ter­mi­na­tion to turn the con­sen­sus reached by lead­ers of

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wel­comes US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo in Py­ongyang on Oc­to­ber 7, 2018

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