Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

China may be exerting 'negative pressure' on North Korea

The motorcade carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drives towards Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang North Korea Friday North Korea Calls Talks 'Regrettable' After U.S. Says Progress Was Made
Andrew Cummings | 11 July, 2018, 03:22

Well, Trump sealed that relationship with a handshake, and the North Koreans still scoff at denuclearization while demanding the lifting of sanctions, suspension of U.S.

The first major follow through on a trade threat directed unilaterally at China coincided with Pompeo's meeting in North Korea last week, adding to speculation that China may be trying to leverage its position as the final guarantor of economic pressure on Pyongyang in trade talks with the US.

But "there is no difference" between the two phrases and North Korea clearly understands it, Pompeo insisted during a joint news conference in Tokyo after the trilateral meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, Taro Kono and Kang Kyung-wha.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un inspects Chunghung farm in Samjiyon County an undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on July 10.

"The statement was to my ear - in a way - much more gentle and careful than I have heard from the North Koreans on any number of occasions over two decades", Gallucci said during a call with reporters organized by 38 North, a well-respected North Korea-watching website and project of the Stimson Center, a USA think tank.

Pompeo said that North Korea, in the "many hours of talks" at a walled-off guesthouse outside downtown Pyongyang, reiterated its commitment to denuclearisation.

Pompeo later dismissed those comments, saying the two sides "made progress" and that talks will continue.

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During that meeting, leaders will also address the destruction of a missile-testing facility in North Korea, which was first brought up during the summit in Singapore.

The ministry added: "We had expected that the USA side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit. we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures".

He alluded to an exchange between Pompeo and chief North Korean negotiator Kim Yong Chol in Pyongyang. The ministry said Mr. Kim had written a personal letter to Mr. Trump, reiterating that trust.

Pompeo himself reportedly laughed when asked about the CD last week but did not confirm or deny the South Korean newspaper report. Do you think North Korea is deliberately holding the remains back, to keep them as hostage to their demands?

"It's certainly a setback and a change of heart and a very different picture coming from the North Korean side".

The secretary of state acknowledged that "the road ahead will be hard and challenging" and vowed to keep punishing economic sanctions in place "until final fully verified denuclearization" is achieved.

Mr Trump also expressed doubts about Beijing's attitude toward the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, suggesting that China could play a counterproductive role due to the trade war that has seen the world's two largest economies slap tariffs on each other's goods.

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