US President Donald Trump boosted the caliber of CIA director Mike Pompeo who traveled to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un, a secret visit undertaken by him to lay the groundwork for the planned upcoming historic summit between the two leaders.
President confirmed on Wednesday that he dispatched Pompeo to Pyongyang last month to meet with Kim to prepare on the denuclearisation agenda of the summit, which Trump hopes to persuade North Korea to abandon nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States.
The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea since 1948 for three generations and Kim Jong-un has clear and long-term goals of achieving the status of a nuclear state which is a key to their grip on power at home and securing his regime from external threats posed by the United States and its allies.
The main reason behind posting a tweet was to provide an evidence for the Senate that Mike Pompeo is perfect diplomat capable of handling highly sensitive negotiations, which is Trump’s choice to replace the ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
During his Senate confirmation hearing last week, Pompeo said his main aim would ensure “an agreement so that the North Korean leadership will step away from its efforts to hold America at risk with the nuclear weapon and Kim should not think of any relaxation on sanctions until he dismantles the nuclear weapons.
Republicans have a narrow Senate majority and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are opposing Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the panel could be forced to take the unusual step of sending the nomination to the full Senate without a favorable recommendation.
The meeting will likely take place in late May or early June but the location is yet to be ascertained.Sites including Washington, Beijing, Seoul and Pyongyang have been ruled out rather the location that is neutral to both sides are being considered and possible locations for the summit include Geneva or any other venues in Europe or Asia.
Trump, currently hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, said that if he felt that the meeting with Kim Jong-un will not be fruitful, he will cancel or walk out of the meeting.”If I think it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we’re not going to go,” Trump said .”If the meeting, when I’m there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”
Pompeo also raised the case of the three American prisoners with Kim in North Korea. Trump said his administration is working “very diligently” on the release of three Americans and also the unresolved cases of at least 13 Japanese who were abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s, one of Abe’s top priorities and an issue of intense emotional power in Japan.
White House officials said Pompeo’s conversations in Pyongyang has fueled Trump’s belief that productive negotiations were possible.Pompeo’ssecret trip to North Korea was arranged by South Korean intelligence chief Suh Hoon with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, and was intended to assess whether Kim was serious about giving up his nuclear weapons program or not.
Earlier in 2000, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Kim Jong Il, the current leader’s late father, to discuss strategic issues.and in 2014, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. traveled to Pyongyang to secure the release of two American captives. Prior to Trump-Kim summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to meet Kim Jong-un at Panmunjom on April 27. If the summit goes well, it will be the start of a long process of negotiations that could pave the way for a deal to end the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
The first and foremost priority will be the denuclearisation of North Korea and another agenda will be pushed by South Korea for a more permanent peace agreement on the Korean Peninsula, potentially involving the U.S. and China, to replace the armistice that ended the Korean War.
The 1953 armistice was signed by North Korea, China, and the U.S.-led United Nations forces, of which South Korea was a part.
South Korea’s presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-Seok, who is leading Seoul’s preparatory committee for the inter-Korean summit, has said that South Korea has already arranged the “backbone” of the joint statement which is likely to be signed with North Korea.
South Korea is leaving no stone unturned to make the inter-Korean summit a success and also making an attempt to increase summits including a trilateral summit involving South Korea, North Korea and the US.
Contrary to his predecessors, Trump adopted an aggressive posture of rhetoric and by asking North Korea directly to dismantle nuclear program rather than asking for returning to six-party talks, has been successful in compelling North Korea to first implement actions on denuclearisation rather demanding concessions.
Abe said Trump’s “unwavering conviction, as well as his determination,” have made talks with North Korea possible.
Abe made it clear that Without denuclearisation, no concessions will be given, “Maximum pressure should be maintained, and actual implementation of concrete actions toward denuclearization will be demanded.”
It was the initiative of South Korean President Moon that diplomatic channels were started with Kim Jong-un and the opportunity was wisely utilized during Winter Games, held in PyeongChang in February in which North Korean athletes took part.
A high-ranking South Korean delegation led by Chung Eui-Yong, the head of the presidential national security officials met the North Korean dictator in Pyongyang in March 2018 aimed at reducing nuclear tensions and paved the way for US talks.
“Most of all, I will deliver President Moon Jae-in’s sincere and firm resolution to maintain the dialogue and improvement in relations between the South and the North, which were fostered on the occasion of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula,” Chung said.