This is your song: Trump 'sends Rocket Man' to Kim

by Garry Watts July 8, 2018, 1:47
This is your song: Trump 'sends Rocket Man' to Kim

The U.S. State Department has denied relaxing its definition of what constitutes North Korean denuclearization ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang Friday. Pompeo joked once the meeting started that if he comes again after this, his third trip to North Korea this year, he will have to start paying taxes.

Citing multiple diplomatic sources, Kyodo News reported that a team of North Korean diplomats has been sent to Geneva, Bern and Davos to look at conference halls and hotels as potential venues for its denuclearisation talks with the US.

Neither the White House nor the Department of State immediately responded to requests for comments.

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang this weekend, he'll come bearing gifts.

Pompeo and his team of USA negotiators arrived in Pyongyang just before noon, where he was met by vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Kim Yong Chol, foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, and director of department at the State Affairs Commission and Kim Jong Un's chief secretary Kim Chang Son. In recent days, the State Department has shifted to using the phrase "final, fully verified denuclearization", including in a Pompeo tweet Thursday.

She also denied that the USA has eased its demand for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization", speculation that emerged after the State Department started defining its goal as the "final, fully verified denuclearization" instead.

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President Donald Trump used to taunt North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as "Little Rocket Man" for his frequent missile tests.

Sources close to the Trump administration have said on background that Mr. Pompeo's immediate goal is to try and nail down a date for the coming weeks or months by which the North Korean leader must publicly declare of his nation's nuclear production facilities, weapons and nuclear-capable missiles.

No further meetings between the two leaders have been scheduled since their historic talks in Singapore last month, but rumours are swirling that the USA could hold out the possibility of another meeting as a "carrot" to encourage the North Koreans to meet their commitment to denuclearize.

Its results will be a major test of Pyongyang's commitment to the Singapore summit accord amid lingering skepticism. But North Korea declared its nuclear weapons program was "complete" on New Year's Day and did not require any more testing.

The United States hopes to maintain momentum amid news reports, based on US intelligence sources, that the secretive North is continuing its nuclear activity.

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