Sunday, November 11, 2018


  • November 7, 2018 Denuclearization deadlock as Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Koreans delayed SEOUL, South Korea -- A senior North Korean envoy's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been delayed, throwing already deadlocked diplomacy over the North's nuclear weapons into further uncertainty. The State Department said in a short statement Wednesday the officials would meet later "when our respective schedules permit." It offered no reason, and the North's propaganda services has not mentioned the meeting. After last year's fears of war, North Korea and the United States are trying to revive stalled diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear weapons. There was much talk of the possibility of success following a meeting in June between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but in the months since there has been little to quiet skeptics who believe the North will never give up weapons it has described as necessary to counter a hostile Washington. Pompeo was supposed to travel to New York on Thursday to meet with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol. South Korea's presidential office said the government would later announce its stance over the postponed meeting, but South Korean news agency Yonhap said South Korean officials were notified by the U.S. of the postponement before it was announced in Washington.
  • November 9th, 2018 Analysts Believe N. Korea Starting Deadly Weapons Despite Lip-Service to Denuclearization North Korea could be quietly moving forward with its nuclear weapons program while stalling talks on denuclearization -- as differences between the United States and South Korea raise new concerns, analysts said. In a week that began with fresh threats from Pyongyang to restart its nuclear program over the weekend, followed by the abrupt cancellation of a planned meeting in New York between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, the latest setbacks are not surprising given the regime's escalating rhetoric, North Korea watchers say. Terence Roehrig, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, in Newport, R.I., said there is no way of confirming whether North Korea has abandoned its weapons of mass destruction. "Moving forward with their nuclear program doesn't necessarily involve testing in the high profile ways they've done it in the past," Roehrig said. "And we've already seen evidence where there are indicators that the North Koreans have continued to move forward with their nuclear program."Roehrig said it is "not a surprise" there is little progress on denuclearization."There's no deal in place yet," he said. "I remain skeptical North Korea is going to be willing to give up its nuclear weapons."
  • November 5, 2018 U.S. and South Korea Resume Military Drills Ahead of Denuclearization Talks With North Korea The U.S. and South Korea resumed combined military exercises on Monday for the first time since the trainings were suspended earlier this year. The drills, which have long been a source of irritation for North Korea, come just days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to hold high-profile nuclear talks with the pariah state. The maritime drills, which opened Monday, will reportedly last two weeks in the southern Korean city of Pohang and will involve approximately 500 soldiers, including U.S. marines stationed in Japan, Yonhap News Agency reports. As a concession to Pyongyang, President Donald Trump indefinitely suspended regular U.S.-South Korean drills in the wake of his landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June. Trump called the drills “tremendously expensive” and “very provocative.”
  • On October 7, the U.S. Department of State issued a readout on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meetings in Pyongyang indicating that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled.”1 Subsequently, Pompeo was asked by reporters when international nuclear inspectors would be allowed onto the site. Pompeo replied, “[A]s soon as we get it logistically worked out, Chairman Kim said he’s ready to allow them to come in, and there’s a lot of logistics that will be required to execute that, but when we get them, we’ll put them on the ground.” Pompeo had no comment to a follow-up question on which organization would be invited to conduct inspections.2
  • OCTOBER 23, 2018 Denuclearization and ‘defining diplomacy down’ome 25 years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Harvard professor who in the course of his career served as United States ambassador to the United Nations and a US senator from New York, coined the phrase “defining deviancy down.” The phrase was meant to describe a social trend in which behavioral standards declined over time to the point that what was once intolerable became broadly acceptable. I am reminded of Moynihan’s phrase when I consider the state of diplomacy aimed at bringing about North Korea’s denuclearization. Increasingly, the parties involved, including the United States and South Korea, appear to be relaxing their requirements for what is expected of North Korea. Call it “defining diplomacy down.”
  • 29 Oct 2018 US urges North Korea denuclearization before 'shared goal' of ending war U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun talks with South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon during a meeting to discuss North Korea nuclear issues at the Foreign Ministry on October 29, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea.  U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun talks with South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon during a meeting to discuss North Korea nuclear issues at the Foreign Ministry on October 29, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea.North Korea must take steps towards verified denuclearization before achieving the "shared goal" of an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War, a U.S. envoy said on Monday.Stephen Biegun, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, was in Seoul to meet senior South Korean officials, including his counterpart Lee Do-hoon, amid rising signs of discord between the allies on North Korea.In recent months, the administration of South Korea's Moon Jae-in has forged ahead with efforts to engage with the North, stoking U.S. concern over a range of issues, especially the continued enforcement of U.N. sanctions over the North's nuclear and missile programs.
  • Oct. 31, 2018 Pompeo to Meet North Korean Counterpart on Denuclearization U.S. secretary of state says he aims for a second Trump-Kim summit early next year that could yield a ‘substantial breakthrough’ in ending nuclear threat Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans a meeting next week with a North Korean counterpart to push for progress on denuclearization and arrange for a second summit meeting between the two countries’ leaders.U.S. officials have met regularly with counterparts in Japan and South Korea, and Mr. Pompeo said a second summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could yield a “substantial breakthrough in taking down the nuclear threat from North Korea.”The meeting next week, acknowledged by Mr. Pompeo in a radio interview on Wednesday with conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, was previously reported by South Korea’s semiofficial Yonhap news agency but not confirmed by the State Department.Mr. Pompeo didn’t specify who he would meet or where, although Yonhap said the meeting would be in New York. The U.S. aims to have the summit “before too long, hopefully early in the next year,” Mr. Pompeo said.