The US Secretary of State will stay in Pyongyang for two days. The return of the remains of US servicemen is on the agenda. North Korea hopes for a second summit.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Pyongyang for the third time with an Elton John CD, a letter from President Trump and a goal: to bring a detailed plan for the denuclearisation of the peninsula back to Washington.
Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang this morning and will stay until tomorrow before going to Tokyo for a summit with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea. This is the first time that he is staying in North Korea overnight.
On arrival the US secretary of state was welcomed by a key figure in recent talks between the two countries – Kim Yong-chol – a North Korean general linked to past tensions with Seoul.
Denuclearisation remains the core of talks and any plan to implement must be detailed to silence sceptics and critics in the United States who spoke out after the 12 June Kim-Trump summit. Also high on the agenda is the issue of the remains of US soldiers missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.
North Korea wants an easing on the sanctions and, according to Kyodo News, a second summit with US leaders in Geneva.
At present, the US has no plan to change its inflexible policy, although they have recently adopted a softer language, asking Pyongyang for “final, fully verified denuclearisation” rather than a “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation”.
Meanwhile scepticism is growing in South Korea, among the country’s conservative opposition, and in the United States among North Korea experts and intelligence officials with many still believing that Pyongyang is not really committed to denuclearisation.
Nonetheless, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left for North Korea on Thursday for denuclearisation talks with two gifts for leader Kim Jong-un. One is a letter from US President Donald Trump and the other is an Elton John CD with the song "Rocket Man”.
Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as 'rocket man' when tensions ran high last year after a series of nuclear tests and missile launches by the North.
During the June summit, Trump asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no, so now he’s decided to send him the CD.