Back in the DPRK: Pompeo holds 3-hour session with Kim Yong-Chol, delivers gift

by WorldTribune Staff, July 6, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on July 6 bearing gifts and a letter from President Donald Trump for discussions which included North Korea’s timeline to begin its commitment to denuclearization.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong-Chol at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang on July 6. / Reuters

A reporter accompanying Pompeo tweeted that the secretary held talks with Kim Yong-Chol, one of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s top aides, for almost 3 hours and that Pompeo planned to meet with North Korean officials again on July 7.

Kim Jong-Un agreed to the denuclearization plan during his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump last month.

“On this trip I’m seeking to fill in some details on those commitments and continue the momentum toward implementation of what the two leaders promised each other and the world,” Pompeo was quoted as telling reporters during a brief stopover in Japan earlier on July 6.

Among the key issues Pompeo will discuss with the North Koreans are a timeline for the denuclearization process to start with a declaration of the North’s nuclear arsenal followed by verification work, Yonhap reported.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said he expects Pompeo to discuss with the North Koreans a plan to dismantle the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs within a year.

North Korea could also deliver the remains of some American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Pompeo reportedly also brought a gift from Trump to be delivered to Kim – a CD which includes the Elton John song “Rocket Man”. Pompeo delivered two gifts for Kim, including a letter from Trump and the CD, according to South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo.

A diplomatic source in Washington cited by Chosun Ilbo explained that the “Rocket Man” CD was “the subject of discussion during Trump’s lunch with Kim” when they met in Singapore.

According to the news outlet, when Kim referenced Trump’s nickname for the North Korean leader, Trump asked him if he’s familiar with the song. Trump later asked Pompeo to bring a copy of the CD during his subsequent trip.

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