US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet his North Korean “counterpart”, Kim Jong Un’s right-hand man, in New York this week, with the goal of re-launching talks to culminate in a new summit between Pyongyang and Donald Trump.
On Fox News, Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that he will meet with General Kim Yong Chol, one of Kim Jong Un’s closest associates later this week.
Kim Yong Chol has been a regular interlocutor with Washington since the resumption of dialogue between the two countries. In the spring, he had already met Pompeo in New York before being received by Donald Trump at the White House.
The US Secretary of State did not specify the exact day of the meeting, but it should be held mid-week, with the first two days of the week dominated by the mid-term legislative elections in the United States.
“We will have a good opportunity to continue talks on the denuclearization” of the North Korean regime, he said on Fox News.
“I expect that we will make real progress, especially so that the summit between our two leaders can be held,” he continued on another channel, CBS.
Since the historic meeting between MM. Trump and Kim on June 12 in Singapore, a second face-to-face meeting between the two men is regularly discussed.
“I like him and he likes me,” said the US president last month. “Three or four” places are being considered for this new summit, he said.
This summit, and next week’s meeting between Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, should allow both nations to advance on the very delicate issue of the denuclearization of the North Korean regime.
North Korea, struck by stifling economic sanctions for its economy, seems to be getting impatient.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry has just declared that Pyongyang could return to its policy of “simultaneous development” of its nuclear capabilities and its economy if the United States does not change its attitude.
“I’m not worried, we’ve already seen this during the negotiations,” moderated Mike Pompeo Sunday morning on CBS, before reaffirming its inflexibility: “No economic respite before reaching our final goal.”
“It’s not just the complete denuclearization, but our ability to verify that it took place that is a prerequisite for the lifting of economic sanctions,” he said.
This relaunching of the dialogue with Pyongyang coincides with a relaxation of tensions with China, a key player in the North Korean file, as the main ally of the Kim Jong Un regime. Beijing and Washington are opposed on several issues, particularly trade after the war. imposition of US customs duties on a large part of Chinese imports.
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping spoke last Thursday.
“I just had a very good phone conversation with China’s President Xi Jinping. We talked about a lot of topics, focusing on trade (…) (We) also had a good discussion about North Korea! “, Explained the US president on Twitter.
At the Singapore summit, Kim Jong Un pledged to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”.
Mike Pompeo has been charged, on the American side, with follow-up negotiations to put in music and to concretely define the parameters of this engagement, considered too vague by Washington.
He has traveled twice since this summer to North Korea.