2024 RT Amination Banner.gif

China Daily

Asia Pacific> Asia News> Content
Saturday, July 07, 2018, 18:37
Denuclearization: Both DPRK, US seek clarity
By Associated Press
Saturday, July 07, 2018, 18:37 By Associated Press

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second from right, greets Kim Yong-chol, second from left, a senior ruling party official of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as they arrive for a meeting at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, DPRK, July 6, 2018. (AP PHOTO/ANDREW HARNIK, POOL)

PYONGYANG — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ended a second day of talks with senior officials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday, with both sides saying they need clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

On his third trip to Pyongyang since April and his first since last month's historic summit between President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, Pompeo was meeting Kim Yong-chol, a senior ruling party official. 

We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday.

Kim Yong-chol, Senior DPRK official

Both men said they needed to "clarify" certain elements of their previous discussions, but provided no detail. Pompeo left Pyongyang for Japan early Saturday afternoon but it wasn't immediately clear if he met with leader Kim Jong-un, as had been expected.

Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs, Pompeo spent the night at a government guest house in Pyongyang after a three-hour dinner with Kim Yong-chol.

"We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday," Kim said. "So, thinking about those discussions you might have not slept well last night."

READ MORE: Pompeo meets with top DPRK official for talks in Pyongyang

Pompeo, who spoke with Trump, national security adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly by secure phone before starting Saturday's session, replied that he "slept just fine." He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which the DPRK would denuclearize and realize economic benefits in return.

Kim later said that "there are things that I have to clarify" to which Pompeo responded that "there are things that I have to clarify as well."

There was no immediate explanation of what needed to be clarified but the two sides have been struggling to specify what exactly "denuclearization" would entail and how it could be verified to the satisfaction of the US.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that the US remains "very firm" in its stance that three basic goals be met: complete denuclearization of the DPRK, security assurances, and the repatriation of remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

ALSO READ: Pompeo to visit DPRK to cement Trump-Kim meeting consensus

"Our policy hasn't changed," she said when asked why US officials appear in public comments to have backed away from early demands that an agreement must cover "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization."

"Our expectation is exactly what the president and Kim Jong-un jointly agreed to in Singapore, and that is the denuclearization of North Korea," Nauert said, adding that "progress" toward that goal had been made. She did not elaborate.

The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea.

Pompeo and Kim met for nearly three hours Friday and then had dinner.

On his flight to Pyongyang, Pompeo said both sides made commitments at the Singapore summit on the complete denuclearization of the DPRK and on what a transformed relationship between their two countries might look like.

"On this trip, I'm seeking to fill in some details on these commitments and continue the momentum toward implementation of what the two leaders promised each other and the world. I expect that the DPRK is ready to do the same," Pompeo said.

One hoped-for breakthrough would be the return of the remains of US troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War. 

On Saturday, the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that Pompeo was in the country for talks but did not describe their nature.

The DPRK is Pompeo's first stop on his first around-the-world trip as America's top diplomat. He will then travel to Japan, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates before heading to Belgium, where he will accompany Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels.

Share this story