Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

U.S. top diplomat Mike Pompeo visits North Korea

U.S. top diplomat Mike Pompeo visits North Korea

Xi told Trump that he supports the planned meeting between the USA and North Korean leaders, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

The pending US-North Korea summit has sparked a flurry of diplomacy, with Japan, South Korea and China holding a high-level meeting on Wednesday.

This is the second visit Pompeo in North Korea for six weeks.

Pompeo secretly met with Kim in April while he was still director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

South Korea, China and Japan on Wednesday issued a joint statement supporting the Panmunjeom Declaration, at their first trilateral summit held in more than two years. Two journalists were given roughly four hours notice of the secretary of state's departure.

On the first issue, China wants to maintain the status quo of its official ally, because it fears a collapse of the Kim's regime could send an influx of refugees over the bordering Yalu and Tumen Rivers and into the Liaoning and Jilin provinces of China.

He also told the reporters he doesn't know exactly who he will meet in North Korea.

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at the same news conference he supported the idea of dialogue between Japan and North Korea.

North Korea has successfully tested a small atomic bomb (although most likely not yet a hydrogen one, despite its claims) and inter-continental missiles (even if their accuracy is still poor), and it is likely that North Korea will be able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile within a few years, if not sooner. "When I make promises, I keep them", Trump said.

The three U.S. detainees still being held are Korean-American missionary Kim Dong-chul; Kim Sang-duk, also known as Tony Kim, who spent a month teaching at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) before he was arrested in 2017; and Kim Hak-song, who also taught at PUST.

Chinese media said Mr Xi and Mr Kim met for a second time on Monday and Tuesday in China.

Japanese and South Korean media were speculating Tuesday that a high-ranking North Korean official had visited China after an airliner from the North landed in the Chinese port city of Dalian.

Kim restated Pyongyang's desire to abandon its nuclear program, "as long as relevant parties eliminate the hostile policy and security threats against North Korea", according to paraphrased remarks reported by Xinhua.

Kim was quoted as saying Monday by China's official news agency Xinhua: "I hope to build mutual trust with the US through dialogue".

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Pompeo said he hopes the two countries can outline a set of conditions that will allow for a change in their security relationship, as well as pin down the specific details for the summit itself, including date, location and duration.

But his exact demands for relinquishing weapons that his nation spent decades building remain unclear.

Tokyo on Wednesday expressed regret over the USA decision.

"He has raised the bar for success with North Korea, probably to an impossibly high degree", he said. "We're not going to do this in small increments where the world is essentially coerced into relieving economic pressure".

Kim needs to make sure that whatever negotiations he has with Trump align to some degree with Beijing's positions, which could certainly complicate his task ahead.

The Chinese leader also voiced support for North Korea "shifting its strategic focus to economic construction".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been widely praised for seizing the opportunity presented by the Winter Olympics to broker talks between Trump and Kim - two leaders who were at loggerheads just months before, and threatening to wage a war which would inevitably devastate the South.

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"The U.S.is deliberately provoking the DPRK at the time when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is moving toward peace and reconciliation", the spokesman was quoted as saying.

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