North Korea newspaper blasts 'double-dealing' US after Pompeo's trip canceled

Hugh Fox
August 27, 2018

South Korea will propose to North Korea the withdrawal of guard posts in certain designated areas of the Demilitarized Zone, rather than committing to reducing by an equal number of border facilities, its defense chief said Friday.

The ministry said South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-hwa spoke with Mr Pompeo over the phone and they pledged joint efforts to keep the momentum of dialogue alive.

The United States is pressing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, calling for stringent implementation of tough U.S. and U.N. sanctions. "We are seriously concerned about this", Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in the statement. The North for its part has been demanding the USA ease or lift sanctions that are crippling its economy as well as fast-track discussions to formally declare an end the 1950-53 Korean War, which technically never ended.

North Korea's blistering broadsides against Japan are nothing new, given its position as a hated former colonial power and a key player in worldwide efforts to punish Pyongyang with sanctions over its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Pompeo on Thursday appointed a senior executive with Ford Motor be his special envoy for North Korea and said they both would visit Pyongyang next week.

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There were even commemorative coins minted before any deal had been struck-and there was talk, not just among Trump's right-wing media supporters but also from members of Congress, about how Trump deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing North Korea to the table.

Trump on Friday, August 24, pulled the plug on the visit, blaming a lack of progress in denuclearization efforts since his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June.

Trump's trade war with China has caused considerable anger in Beijing and makes it unlikely that the government there could be persuaded to cooperate if the United States wants to return to exerting "maximum pressure" on North Korea economically.

Trump said on Friday that "because of our much tougher trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearisation as they once were", despite United Nations sanctions against the nuclear-armed regime.

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The U.S. military spokesman in South Korea was not immediately available to comment. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he believes that China is behind North Korea's latest shift in tone. "I look forward to seeing him soon!"

"However, I think the American people are willing to forgive that, in my opinion, giant blunder if it does result in better relations between North Korea and the United States", she added.

The material and equipment identified in the data are banned from being exported to North Korea under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2397, Cheong's office said.

The inter-Korean summit slated for September remains on track, and President Moon's role as mediator between the USA and North Korea appears to have expanded after the canceled visit, Blue House's Kim told reporters on Sunday.

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The South Korean leader is due to visit Pyongyang next month for what will be his third meeting with Kim this year.

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