Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

Pompeo sees hard road ahead, but pursues N Korean denuclearization talks

  • Print


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shaking hands with Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Tokyo on Sunday.

Reuters, Tokyo :
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brushed off North Korean accusations of "gangster-like" diplomacy during negotiations in Pyongyang, saying on Sunday he will pursue denuclearization talks after meeting his Japanese and South Korean counterparts.
Pompeo said in Tokyo there was still a lot of work to do but he was confident North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would stick to a commitment to abandon nuclear weapons he made during a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore last month.
Pompeo's meeting with Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha followed two days of talks in Pyongyang that ended on Saturday.
"When we spoke to them about denuclearization, they did not push back," Pompeo told a news conference. "The road ahead will be difficult and challenging and we know that critics will try to minimize the work that we've achieved."
Pompeo spoke after North Korea said the two days of talks with America's top diplomat "brought us in a dangerous situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating trust between the DPRK and the U.S.".
The statement, which referred to the North's formal name of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), was carried by the official KCNA news agency on Saturday soon after Pompeo left Pyongyang.
Kim made a broad commitment in Singapore to "work toward denuclearization" but did not give details on how or when he would dismantle North Korea's nuclear program. Trump in turn offered security guarantees to Pyongyang and pledged a halt to large-scale military drills with South Korea.
North Korea's latest comments, which came after Pompeo said talks had made progress, are a reminder of the difficulties that previous U.S. administrations have had negotiating with the reclusive state and suggest Pyongyang may not agree to any rapid denuclearization.
Leaked U.S. intelligence findings concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear program completely.
Trump has vowed that North Korea will not be allowed to threaten the United States with its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. His meeting with Kim in Singapore came after months of often bitter rhetoric and threats.
Pompeo said he did not meet Kim on his latest visit to Pyongyang, as he had done twice before.
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter there was a danger military action could be called for because Trump might now claim he had tried diplomacy but was betrayed by Kim.
"But a rushed summit and demands that NK denuclearize in short order or else is not a serious test of diplomacy," Haass tweeted.
Japan's Kono thanked Pompeo and said the three allies had reaffirmed a commitment to keeping sanctions on North Korea until it abandoned nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of all ranges.
"We confirmed that security assurances will be provided to North Korea as agreed in the summit. At the same time we have reaffirmed that the international community will continue to fully implement relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions," Kono said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier heaped praise on Pompeo at his residence in Tokyo.

More News For this Category

News In Brief

Pak Provincial Assembly Speaker arrested AP, Islamabad  Pakistan's anti-corruption body says it has arrested the speaker of a provincial assembly and member of an opposition party headed by former President

Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis: Congressional report

AP, Washington :Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Reuters, Ramallah, West Bank :The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

AFP, Moscow  :President Vladimir Putin promised Russians rapid improvements in their living conditions as he delivered his annual state of the nation address Wednesday under pressure from falling approval

Pakistan PM urges talks on Kashmir blast, warns India against attack

Pakistan PM urges talks on Kashmir blast, warns India against attack

Reuters, Islamabad :Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday Pakistan was ready to cooperate with India in its investigation of a deadly bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last

Japan trial to treat spinal cord injuries with stem cells

Japan trial to treat spinal cord injuries with stem cells

AFP, Tokyo :The health ministry approved Monday the world's first clinical test in which artificially derived stem cells will be used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries.A team

IS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

IS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

AFP, Baghouz (Syria) :Islamic State group jihadists were defending the last pocket of their "caliphate" in Syria on Monday, as EU foreign ministers meet to discuss the crisis after

Australia says 'state actor' hacked parties, parliament

Australia says 'state actor' hacked parties, parliament

AFP, Sydney :Australia on Monday said a "sophisticated state actor" had hacked the country's main political parties and parliament, just weeks before a closely fought election.Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children'

Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children'

AFP, Moscow :As the end nears for the IS enclave in Syria and the fate of jihadists' family members becomes a prescient issue, Russia can be seen as a

`Crime may have been committed` by Trump: Ex-FBI official

`Crime may have been committed` by Trump: Ex-FBI official

AP, Washington :Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Sunday that a "crime may have been committed" when President Donald Trump fired the head