Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Pompeo Brings 'Rocket Man' CD for Kim Jong

RTS1V685 Koreas begin basketball friendlies in latest peace gesture
Charlie Simmons | 07 July, 2018, 03:22

Korean news outlet The Chosunilbo reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought two items from the president to the dictator upon his visit to North Korea.

Citing "sources in Washington", the paper said Trump signed the CD with a message for Kim, since the song came up in conversation during their summit last month.

"We can endure the physical exhaustion of coming to protests every day or occasionally clashing with police", said Kim Jong-hee, a 50-year-old mother who joined Wednesday's protest from the nearby town in Gimcheon.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said at the time that it "needs to find out the exact meaning or intention behind [Trump's] comments".

Players of Team Peace and Team Prosperity enter the stadium during an inter-Korean women's basketball match in Pyongyang, North Korea. Following a summit in Singapore between the notorious leaders last month, Trump has delivered an unusual gift to Kim Jong Un - a copy of Elton John's "Rocket Man".

His mission is to translate the upbeat rhetoric following the first meeting between leaders of the USA and North Korea into concrete action that will eliminate the threat posed by Kim's nuclear arsenal.

While Pompeo has dismissed questions about "semantics" as both insulting and ludicrous, North Korea analysts note that it shows a large gap between the two sides, one that the administration can not paper over for long.

Pompeo's talks with Kim were expected to last a "couple of hours" and it's unlikely he'll meet Kim Jong Un.

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Tokyo has said it is ready to normalize ties with and provide economic support to North Korea following a comprehensive resolution of the nuclear, missile and abduction issues, according to the sources. "There is no military rationale for withdrawing the THAAD system as long as Pyongyang maintains an arsenal of ballistic missiles and as long as U.S. Forces remain in Korea". North Korean officials have yet to demonstrate that in working-level talks, the intelligence officials said.

Trump and Kim's historic summit produced a handshake and a signed agreement between the two countries but offered little specifics for how the North would go along with the "complete denuclearization" goal the usa has set.

According to NBC News, reporters on the ground asked Mr. Pompeo about the CD, but he neither confirmed nor denied it. North Korea's state-run media marked the occasion this year with overwhelming praise.

"At a time when we're hearing Pres. Trump say we pretty much secured denuclearization from the North Koreans and they're going to start blowing up test sites, we have major expansion at a location that develops technologically advanced missile parts for their weapons program", says David Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Pompeo is in North Korea for negotiations following President Trump's historic Singapore Summit with Kim, as the administration looks for a substantive commitment from the North Koreans to end their nuclear weapons program.

Four other USA officials said the Hermit Kingdom was purposely trying to mislead the U.S. This is his third trip to North Korea.

There's also National Security Council Korea Director Allison Hooker and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Alex Wong, who joined Pompeo for his trip to Seoul and Beijing after the Singapore summit to debrief the South Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese.

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