Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Pompeo: US hopes to have North Korea as 'close partner' not enemy

Pompeo: US hopes to have North Korea as 'close partner' not enemy

On that day, President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for a historic summit following a locked-and-loaded winter of taunts, saber-rattling and nuclear threats.

Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun did not provide a clear answer on whether the women could be returned to North Korea if it's confirmed they didn't want to come to South Korea.

"The DPRK will, also in the future, promote close contacts and dialogue with neighbouring countries and the global society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and over the globe", the North Korean foreign ministry statement carried by KCNA said on Saturday.

"Moreover, as peace talks progress, a comprehensive assessment of the overall penitentiary system in North Korea will become unavoidable".

Heo said he chose to spy for the National Intelligence Service in 2014 after Kim Jong Un executed his own uncle, Jang Song-thaek, on sedition and corruption charges.

But North Korea and global inspectors might not agree on this option, because the process would require longer period of work and the presence of numerous experts.

North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs pledged transparency and laid out plans Saturday to dismantle the country's nuclear testing site.

Relations between Pyongyang and Seoul as well as the North and the US have improved markedly as the USA continues to seek denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and Kim said his country would end its nuclear program and dismantle the related facilities. The railroad proposal is likely part of a broader plan to connect South Korea and China by rail lines, which would go through the north.

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Kim has expressed a commitment to the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula, although there are still questions about his sincerity given North Korea's tendency to fail to follow through on its commitments.

If President Trump is successful in convincing Kim Jong Un to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program the effort would be unprecedented in its size and complexity, analysts say.

North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition.

But in September 2008, the North declared that it would resume reprocessing plutonium, complaining that Washington wasn't fulfilling its promise to remove the country from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

This week the North released three Korean-Americans it had detained into the care of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was making his second trip to Pyongyang in two months.

Kim's regime also carried out missile tests that convinced USA intelligence officials, including Pompeo in his former role as CIA director, that North Korea could threaten U.S. cities.

It is not certain how many nuclear engineers there are in the North. Estimates run to up to 10,000.

He said the U.S. wants to ensure that its efforts yield the end result, that North Korea should not become a threat to the world.

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