North Korea Issues Directives to Prevent Unrest Over Uncertainty About US Summit

31 May, 2018, 20:06 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Russia says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to visit N.Korea on May 31

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean senior official Kim Yong Chul met in New York Wednesday night for a 90-minute dinner to continue discussions about the potential summit.

A second day of meetings between top diplomatic officials of the United States and North Korea are underway in NY, in an attempt to discuss nuclear disagreements and prepare for a planned historic summit between leaders.

Kim flew from Pyongyang to Beijing Tuesday with North Korean officials including Choe Kang-il, acting director general for North American affairs in its Foreign Ministry, and Kim Song-hye, a senior official from the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party. Sung Kim, the United States envoy to the Philippines and a former ambassador to South Korea; Randall G. Schriver, the assistant secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs; and Allison Hooker, director for Korea on the White House's National Security Council, traveled to North Korea Sunday and held talks with their counterparts.

Kim is tentatively set to meet with President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12, and has engaged in a flurry of diplomacy to prepare for the historic summit.

The adviser, Dr Siegfried Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico and now a Stanford professor, argues that the best the United States can hope for is a phased denuclearisation that goes after the most unsafe parts of the North's programme first.

His travel to the United States was confirmed by Trump, who wrote in a tweet on Tuesday morning that Kim was traveling to NY.

Nonetheless, in a surprise meeting earlier this week, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in affirmed their shared goal of achieving complete dismantlement of the North's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs, according to a statement.

"Between now and if we're going to have a summit, they're going to have to make clear what they're willing to do", said the official.

The directives will raise eyebrows among North Koreans who now will not know what to believe about recent developments, despite some signs of enthusiasm about détente with South Korea and the USA, said a source from North Pyongan province who declined to be named. The demanding what the administration calls "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization", or CVID, from North Korea.

Kim Yong Chol was previously chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a top North Korean military intelligence agency, and has spent almost 30 years as a senior member of the intelligence community.

Trump rattled a saber on Thursday by canceling the planned June 12 meeting with Kim in Singapore, citing "open hostility" from Pyongyang.

Pompeo's meeting with Kim Yong Chol in NY is going on at the same time as talks are underway in two other locales.

"I want it to be meaningful", he added.

"It is absolutely obvious that - as we start discussions on how to resolve the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula - it is understood that the solution can not be comprehensive without the lifting of sanctions", Lavrov said at a press conference. Earlier video footage showed Kim arriving at the venue, with a plain-suited security presence, both USA and North Korean, much in evidence.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang during their meeting on Thursday.

"As a good neighbor of North Korea, Russia is ready to make its contribution to these efforts", he added.

Thursday's meeting between Kim and Lavrov took place at the Paekhwawon State Guest House in Pyongyang, the Kremlin-run TASS news agency reported quoting a source in the Russian delegation.

Tensions were calmed after Kim extended an olive branch by offering to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, sparking a rapid détente that led to Trump agreeing to hold direct talks with Pyongyang.



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