Pompeo says won't put timeline on North Korea denuclearization steps

Saul Bowman
June 26, 2018

Last Thursday, state TV showed Kim on his third visit to China, disembarking from his aircraft with his wife Ri Sol-ju affectionately holding on to his arm.

Across the border at a war anniversary ceremony in Seoul, Prime Minister Lee acknowledged that the conflict began "due to North Korea's invasion".

Lee's comments appear to be Seoul's first official confirmation of media reports that South Korea demanded that the North reposition its forward-deployed artillery pieces during inter-Korean military talks this month.

A 2016 South Korean defense white paper described the North's long-range artillery as one of the country's biggest threats, along with its nuclear and missile programs.

Kim's father Jong-il, by contrast, cultivated an image of preternatural drabness, shuffling about with his disheveled hairdo and shapeless anorak as he glumly inspected factories or army posts, and keeping his succession of wives well out of the limelight.

The North's agreement to hold only a single week of reunions for 100 families, falls far short of what many expected after Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised "comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement of inter-Korean relations" in their joint declaration at the end of the inter-Korean summit in April. The North even issued special anti-U.S. postage stamps. Nearly all of them are over 70 years old.

President Trump gives briefing after summit with Kim Jong Un, says the past does not have to define the future, says North Korea agreed to destroy a "major" missile testing site and the USA will stop war games.

Analysts say the rare omission of the U.S. in North Korean media coverage of the anniversary may be part of the regime's efforts to maintain the current diplomatic momentum.

"There will be specific asks and there will be a specific timeline when we present the North Koreans with our concept of what implementation of the summit agreement looks like", the official reportedly said.

He said that framework couldn't be filled out without, Kim "making clear his intent to denuclearize", Pompeo said.

Referring to Trump's decision to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea, which North Korea has long denounced as provocative, Pompeo told CNN this move would last "only so long as there is a good faith negotiation progress, productive results being achieved".

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