News ID: 232358
Published: 0248 GMT October 06, 2018

Pompeo heads to North Korea with low expectations, but high pressure

Pompeo heads to North Korea with low expectations, but high pressure
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C) is welcomed by officials upon his arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Oct. 6, 2018.

Three months after his last trip to North Korea, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading back to Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong-un and other top officials as the Trump administration seeks some tangible progress finally on its pursuit of the state’s denuclearization.

With talks largely deadlocked, at the heart of this round of negotiations is a debate over what the US should demand from North Korea and what it is willing to give in exchange, ABC News reported.

Pompeo played down expectations for a major breakthrough, saying: "I doubt we will get it nailed but begin to develop options for both location and timing for when Chairman Kim will meet with the president again". 

"Maybe we will get further than that," AFP quoted him as saying.

“The mission is to make sure that we understand what each side is truly trying to achieve,” Pompeo said Friday en route to Japan, his first stop on his swing through East Asia.

Pompeo met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and reassured him Japan’s interests would not be forgotten as he heads to Pyongyang to continue talks over North Korea’s nuclear and missile program, reported.

In June, Trump met Kim in Singapore in the first-ever summit between the countries.

Pompeo is heading into his eighth encounter with the North Korean side – and his fourth meeting since the Singapore summit. But there is growing doubt about whether President Donald Trump’s diplomatic push can succeed, if the two sides still don’t have an understanding of what the other is trying to achieve or how.

Instead, the top US diplomat has been tasked by his boss with preparing for a second summit with Kim, which the North Koreans are pushing for, but that analysts warn will hurt US goals.

After North Korea, Pompeo will travel to South Korea to meet President Moon Jae-in and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha – and onward to China to meet with senior officials amid growing tensions with the Chinese, encapsulated by a fiery speech by Vice President Mike Pence Thursday.





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