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Pom­peo calls ques­tions about gaps in Trump-Kim state­ment “in­sult­ing and ridicu­lous.”

Ques­tions about per­ceived gaps in the joint state­ment signed by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Kim Jong Un are “in­sult­ing and ridicu­lous and frankly lu­di­crous,” Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo told re­porters Wed­nes­day in Seoul, where he is brief­ing South Korea on Tues­day’s U.S.-North Korean sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore.

Asked specif­i­cally about ver­i­fi­ca­tion of Py­ongyang’s de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, and whether it will be ir­re­versible — ob­jec­tives out­lined by Trump but un­men­tioned in the state­ment — Pom­peo said that “the modal­i­ties are be­gin­ning to de­velop. There will be a great deal of work to do. There’s a long way to go. There’s much to think about.”

“But don’t say silly things,” he said. “No, don’t. It’s not pro­duc­tive.”

Pom­peo said the state­ment’s ref­er­ence to “com­plete” de­nu­cle­ariza­tion “en­com­passes ver­i­fi­able and ir­re­versible.”

He said he an­tic­i­pated the next dis­cus­sion with North Korea would take place “fairly quickly af­ter we re­turn to our home coun­tries. I don’t know ex­actly what form that will take, but I’m very con­fi­dent that by some time in the next week or so we will be­gin the en­gage­ment.”

While “the pres­i­dent is in the lead,” Pom­peo said, “I will be the per­son who takes the role of driv­ing this process for­ward.”

Koreas hold mil­i­tary talks.


The ri­val Koreas on Thurs­day were hold­ing rare, high-level mil­i­tary talks on re­duc­ing ten­sions across their heav­ily for­ti­fied border.

It’s pos­si­ble that North Korean of­fi­cials dur­ing the talks, held at the border vil­lage of Pan­munjom, will seek a firm com­mit­ment from the South on stop­ping its mil­i­tary drills with the United States.

The dis­cus­sions were the first high-level talks be­tween the mil­i­taries since De­cem­ber 2007.

North Korea lauds Kim’s sum­mit per­for­mance.

The news on tele­vi­sion and the front page of the rul­ing Work­ers’ Party news­pa­per was some­thing North Kore­ans never would have imag­ined just months ago — their leader Kim Jong Un warmly shak­ing hands with U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

One day af­ter the meet­ing be­tween Kim and Trump in Sin­ga­pore, North Korea’s state-run me­dia were filled with images of its beam­ing leader stand­ing as an equal on the in­ter­na­tional stage with the pres­i­dent of the most pow­er­ful coun­try in the world — a re­minder of just how much of a pro­pa­ganda coup the North saw in Tues­day’s sum­mit.

Dub­bing it the start of a new re­la­tion­ship be­tween their coun­tries, which are still tech­ni­cally at war, Py­ongyang’s first re­ports Wed­nes­day stressed to the North Korean peo­ple that Trump agreed, at Kim’s de­mand, to halt joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cises with South Korea as long as talks to­ward eas­ing ten­sions con­tinue.

The me­dia mes­sage to the masses was clear: This is a big suc­cess for Kim — known in the North as the Mar­shal — and the re­sult of his wise lead­er­ship.

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