State Dept pushes back on suggestion it's softening stance on North Korea

State Dept pushes back on suggestion it's softening stance on North Korea

It will be Pompeo's mission to put that proposition to the test and help lay to rest doubts over whether the president, who has already ordered a suspension of large-scale USA military drills with South Korea, is overeager to make his engagement with Kim appear a success.

For Wednesday's two rounds of "mixed" matches for women and men, each team was comprised of both South and North Korean athletes. If the nuclear talks bog down, it could mean curtains for inter-Korean detente.

"I expect that the DPRK is ready to do the same", he added, using the initials of North Korea's official name.

The tone was likely reflective of current events on the Korean Peninsula, which is experiencing a rare calm as Kim Il Sung's grandson and current supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, navigates uncharted territory in his direct dealings with a sitting US president.

And ultimately, that relationship doesn't lie in the hands of South Koreans, but with the American and North Korean interlocutors.

Hoffman ended by saying negotiations with the Soviet Union under President Reagan took years to play out and the situation with North Korea is still in its early days.

Marking Pompeo's visit, expectations are that North Korea may deliver the remains of USA troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, as promised in the joint statement at the June summit.

Blowing up the nuclear test site was all that the North has done with regard to denuclearization, he said.

Washington's top diplomat and senior aides took off shortly after 2:00 am and were due in the North Korean capital on Friday, where Pompeo is to stay overnight for the first time. The countries will follow up with more basketball diplomacy in Seoul this fall.

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"How do North Korea and the United States begin peace talks without this war weapon being removed?", Lee told Reuters at his farm while his aged mother packed boxes of yellow melons.

It is to be seen whether the follow-up talks may produce a timeline for the process and an agreement on North Korea's nuclear facilities, a crucial step to enable verification of dismantlement.

Pompeo trip comes less than a month after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participated in a joint summit in Singapore.

Trump reportedly wrote a message on the CD and signed it.

Kim Hack-yong said the South should continue to strengthen its military to put pressure on the North to commit to de-nuking.

Pompeo arrives in Pyongyang on Friday for a two-day visit.

The two leaders agreed to a work towards a variety of aims - including, notably, "a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", as well as economic cooperation and efforts to reunite families that were split by the 1950-1953 Korean War. The regime vowed to obtain a submarine capable of launching a long-range ballistic missile before the Trump-Kim summit.

The musical offering came at the behest of President Trump himself.

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