Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea for talks on nuclear sites

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a meeting with North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 6, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Vastavam web: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea on Friday, hoping to “fill in” details on the North’s plans to dismantle its nuclear programme and also to secure the remains of U.S. troops missing from the Korean War.Pompeo landed in Pyongyang and met Kim Yong Chol, a senior North Korean official who played a central role with Pompeo in arranging last month’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, according to a pool report by reporters travelling with him.

“The President told me he believes that Chairman Kim sees a different, brighter future for the people of North Korea. We both hope that’s true,” Pompeo said on Twitter after a phone call with Trump in the air.“Next stop: Pyongyang. I look forward to continuing my meetings with North Korean leaders. There’s much hard work ahead but peace is worth the effort.”Pompeo said he was seeking to “fill in” some details on North Korea’s commitments and maintain the momentum toward implementation of the agreement from the summit, according to the pool report.Also high on the agenda is the issue of remains, in North Korea, of U.S. soldiers missing from the 1950-53 war. Trump said after the Singapore summit that Kim had agreed to send remains back to the United States.

Both issues are considered essential tests of whether Kim is serious about negotiations. North Korean officials have yet to demonstrate that in working-level talks, the intelligence officials said.“If they’re serious, then we can get down to the business of defining the terms of final denuclearisation,” said one official.But the U.S. ability to verify the accuracy of any North Korean list is limited due to the lack of a “high confidence” accounting of the North’s nuclear arsenal, such as the number of warheads and uranium enrichment facilities, especially if they are not operational, they said.

“Until we do the necessary DNA testing to verify whose remains they are, and things like whether they’ve put remains of the same soldier into more than one box or tried to fool us with pieces of animal bones, we won’t know for sure what they’ve given us back,” the official said.