Mike Pompeo Sets Off For North Korea Nuclear Talks

Korean War

Korean War

Quoting unnamed sources in Washington, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper said the gifts reflected Trump's belief that Kim would follow through on commitments the leaders agreed at their summit in Singapore last month.

Mr Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Friday for a two-day visit - his third trip to the isolated state since taking the secretary of state job in April - and he was met at the airport by senior official Kim Yong Chol. DPRK are the initials for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The exchanges are the latest result of a diplomatic outreach to the South that Kim announced during his annual New Year's speech.

Trump is said to have written a message on the CD for Kim.

Kim reportedly told Trump he had never heard the song - which prompted the President to pack Pompeo off with a CD for the North Korean leader.

Pomepo said yes and added, "I'm looking forward to our time together today".

Players from North and South Korea were mixed into two teams that competed against each other at the North Korean capital's Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium. "There's much hard work ahead but peace is worth the effort".

This cautious approach of the South Korean president's office reflected growing skepticism about North Korea's willingness to give up its nuclear weapons, said Kim Sung-han, a former vice foreign minister under conservative president Lee Myung-bak who is now dean of Korea University's Graduate School of International Studies.

Pompeo would try to agree on at least an initial list of nuclear sites and an inventory that could be checked against the available intelligence, US intelligence officials told Reuters.

Officials were also expected to hash out the return of the remains of United States soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

"Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no".

Both issues are considered essential tests of whether Kim is serious about negotiations.

During the working-level talks, Tokyo also reiterated its position that sanctions would remain in place unless the North takes concrete steps toward denuclearization, the sources said.

"When are they going to hand us that piece of paper? If that's not true we'll go back to the other way".

Trump softened his approach to denuclearization since the summit.

Private analysts have been quick to pick apart the administration's overall plan for following up on the summit in Singapore, where Mr. Kim committed generally to the goal of a "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Up until recently it had maintained North Korea needs to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID).

Some US officials and experts have said the change in language amounted to a softening in the US approach.

The musical offering came at the behest of President Trump himself.

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