Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea on Friday in an effort to breathe new life into nuclear negotiations that have come under intense scrutiny amid U.S. intelligence reports that cast doubt on the isolated regime’s willingness to relinquish its nuclear and missile arsenal.
The top U.S. diplomat is under pressure to show progress following the meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore where the two sides agreed to work toward the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
In the days since the June summit, U.S. and North Korean officials have struggled to maintain basic communication, North Korea has not returned the remains of U.S. soldiers who went missing during the Korean War as promised, and new satellite imagery has shown North Korea expanding a key missile-manufacturing plant.
Still, Pompeo sounded a note of optimism as he sat down with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, a septuagenarian former spy chief who has resisted U.S. efforts to spell out a detailed understanding of what denuclearization would look like.
“I count on [this meeting] being very productive,” Pompeo said.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · John Hudson