Pompeo Brings 'Rocket Man' CD for Kim Jong

US Marines help a wounded buddy on the Naktong River front in South Korea in 1950

US Marines help a wounded buddy on the Naktong River front in South Korea in 1950 Credit AP

It will begin with lunch with Kim Yong Chol, a senior North Korean official who played a central role together with Pompeo in arranging last month's unprecedented summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"The President told me he believes that Chairman Kim sees a different, brighter future for the people of North Korea".

"I'm confident what he intended there was, 'We did reduce the threat, ' " Pompeo said last week at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

The games precede a visit to North Korea by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for meetings over the future of the North's nuclear program.

"Contrary to our military's suspension of joint Korea-U.S. military exercises, North Korea is conducting military exercises on a scale similar to previous years", Kim said.

According to Kim, South Korean and US military authorities believe that various facilities at the North's Yongbyon nuclear complex north of Pyongyang are operating normally.

USA officials remain skeptical whether Pompeo's visit will produce palpable results.

South and North Korean basketball players took to the court Wednesday in Pyongyang for their first friendly game in 15 years, surrounded by thousands of North Koreans chanting "peace" and "prosperity". The U.S. State Department furtively shifted its insistence on a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) to a finally, fully-verified denuclearization (FFVD) after the North bristled against the former approach.

The State Department denied the view, saying its policy remains unchanged. This is his third trip to North Korea.

That 1953 agreement established the border between North and South Korea, and a demilitarized the zone between the two nations, History.com noted. "Wheels are just turning slower than perhaps what everyone thought", the official said.

The remains issue is supposed to be the easy part. Trump's critics said there appeared to be no corresponding gesture by the North Koreans.

He is accompanied by Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines and seasoned nuclear negotiator, Allison Hooker, a National Security Council adviser, Randall Schriver, an assistant secretary of defense for Asia Pacific security affairs, and Andrew Kim, the head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center.

"Until we do the necessary DNA testing to verify whose remains they are, and things like whether they've put remains of the same soldier into more than one box or tried to fool us with pieces of animal bones, we won't know for sure what they've given us back", said a USA military official familiar with the procedures for handling soldiers' remains.

"Nothing has changed in North Korea", Kim said.

South Korean media have reported that Kim Yong Chol could be replaced in his chief negotiating capacity by the minister of foreign affairs, Ri Yong-ho - so observers will be looking closely at which North Korean officials get a seat at the negotiating table with Pompeo.

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