Follow-Up Comments On North Korea Statement That Talks With Pompeo Were ‘Regrettable’

The comment highlighted in blue and black below is by/from Col. (Ret.) David Maxwell; and, his contact info is at the bottom of this page.  RCP,
David Maxwell Comment/Analysis:  “As I wrote in March and posted on my blog here on June 6, the bar for success of the Singapore summit was pretty low:
​However, despite the above I think the summit will likely occur and success is a low bar with three simple objectives: 
 1. “Meet and greet” to look KJU in the eye and allow the POTUS and Kim to lay out positions.
 2. Agree to allow expert representatives to meet and work on a process for dismantlement of the north’s nuclear program without ending sanctions until there is substantive and verifiable action by the north.
 3. Agree to a follow-up meeting to discuss results of expert representative meetings (perhaps in 3 to 6 months)
If we examine the June 12th Summit and the SECSTATE-nK meeting this weekend we are still on track.
Basically what happened this weekend (assuming the reporting is accurate) is point two above. The establishment of the working groups may allow the experts to really work on hammering out  a process.  we could see the initial results of the working group process in September if KJU comes for the UN General Assembly Meeting.
Lastly I would recommend everyone continue to keep these questions in mind as we move forward and try to assess or determine the answers.  We should have asked these going into the summit and we should continue to ask them.
There are two sets of questions we should be asking going into the summit:
First,  we need to think deeply about this:  Has Kim Jong-un given up the foundational strategy of unification of the peninsula under the north’s control through subversion, coercion, and use of force in order to ensure regime survival?  Has Kim given up the key supporting objective to split the ROK/US alliance to get US forces off the peninsula so that it can achieve unification? The answer to these questions should guide our strategy.
Second, what do we want to achieve in Korea? What is the acceptable durable political arrangement on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia that will serve and protect US and ROK/US Alliance interests?  Again the answer to these questions should guide our strategy.
Personally, I have seen no evidence that Kim has given up on the Kim Family Regime strategy. Therefore unfortunately my personal assessment remains this: 
The only way we are going to see an end to the nuclear program and threats and to the crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the North by the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime is through achievement of unification and the establishment of a United Republic of Korea that is secure and stable, non-nuclear, economically vibrant, and unified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people.
The only way we are going to achieve a unified Korea is through a ROK led effort with the full support of the United States.  And for every scenario short of unification from addressing provocations, deterring North Korean attack, to defeating an attack, to dealing with the myriad contingencies that will arise from North Korean instability and regime collapse a strong ROK/US alliance is necessary for a successful outcome.
De Oppresso Liber
David S. Maxwell
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: David Maxwell <>
Date: Sat, Jul 7, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Subject: North Korea says talks with Pompeo were ‘regrettable’

Not a good sign.  Two different views of the talks from the north and from SECSTATE.  Of course the north does not want to unilaterally denuclearize.  Anyone who believed they would is either delusional or does not understand the nature of the Kim Family Regime.
That said I would not give up all hope. This remains typical north Korean negotiating strategy.  Until they extract the political and economic concessions they demand they are not going to provide any substantive concessions on their part. I think that the only way we will hear about substantive agreements will be when they are agreed to by both POTUS and KJU and are announced jointly.
The fact that SECSTATE did not meet KJU should not be a surprise.  Now that he has met with POTUS and has been legitimized as POTUS’ “equal” he is not going to meet with lesser personnel to include the SECSTATE. He probably also did not want to receive the Elton John CD.
I will bet that what is not being reported are discussions of possible preparations for KJU to come to New York for the UN General Assembly and a possible follow-on White House visit.  The positive spin I would put on all this is that with the establishment of the working groups to work on the “nitty gritty” I can imagine that some agreements might be worked out behind the scenes.  Both sides probably want to negotiate in private and then make public announcements and not publicly discuss ongoing negotiations before agreements are reached.  I could see some kind of joint announcement about the work done by the working groups and an agreement on some issues.
If I was a reality TV producer I would say this meeting helps to build the suspense as the end of the season with this “cliffhanger” – are the negotiations going to fail?   When the new season opens in the fall we will see the resolution of the cliffhanger with some agreement that will propel the negotiations (and reality TV series) forward and the timing of such an announcement in September could be useful for the mid term elections.  The timing would be better then than if it occurred right now with this meeting.  And again if we spend the rest of the summer thinking the negotiations are on the ropes when a “breakthrough” occurs in September it will be heralded as a big win and the result of a great diplomatic effort by the two leaders (the only win-win acceptable in this negotiations – both leaders can mutually benefit with positive news at the right time).  This process being extended over time with ups and downs and periodic successes correctly timed could be the gift that keeps on giving.  Extended negotiations could be beneficial to both until the point when the threat to the American homeland is sufficiently reduced so that POTUS can bring home American troops and leave Korea to Koreans (and the Chinese and Russians).

North Korea says talks with Pompeo were ‘regrettable’

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea said Saturday that high-level talks with a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were “regrettable” and accused Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nukes.

The North’s statement came hours after Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks with senior North Korean officials without meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but with commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.

Before departing Pyongyang, Pompeo told reporters that his conversations with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol had been “productive,” conducted “in good faith” and that “a great deal of progress” had been made in some areas. He stressed that “there’s still more work to be done” in other areas, much of which would be done by working groups that the two sides have set up to deal with specific issues.

The North provided a much harsher assessment of the talks, saying that the United States betrayed the spirit of last month’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim by making “one-sided and robber-like” demands on “CVID,” or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

It said the outcome of the follow-up talks was “very concerning” because it has led to a “dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.”

“We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders’ summit … we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures,” an unnamed spokesman of Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

“However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable,” the spokesman said.

Pompeo said that a Pentagon team would be meeting with North Korean officials on or about July 12 at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains and that working level talks would be held soon on the destruction of North Korea’s missile engine testing facility.

In the days following his historic June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, President Donald Trump had announced that the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.

Pompeo, however, said that more talks were needed on both.

“We now have a meeting set up for July 12 — it could move by one day or two — where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains. (It) will take place at the border and that process will begin to develop over the days that follow,” he said as he boarded his plane for Tokyo.

On the destruction of the missile engine plant, Pompeo said, “We talked about what the modalities would look like for the destruction of that facility as well, and some progress there as well, and then we have laid out a path for further negotiation at the working level so the two teams can get together and continue these discussions.”

Earlier, Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol both said they needed clarity on the parameters of an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula that Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to in Singapore. The trip was Pompeo’s third to Pyongyang since April and his first since the summit.

Unlike his previous visits, which have been one-day affairs during which he has met with Kim Jong Un, Pompeo spent the night at a government guesthouse in Pyongyang and did not see the North Korean leader, although U.S. officials had suggested such a meeting was expected. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said no meeting with Kim Jong Un had been planned.

As they began their talks on Saturday, Kim Yong Chol alluded to the fact that Pompeo and his delegation had stayed overnight in Pyongyang.

“We did have very serious discussions on very important matters yesterday,” Kim said. “So, thinking about those discussions you might have not slept well last night.”

Pompeo, who spoke with Trump, national security adviser John Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly by secure phone before starting Saturday’s session, replied that he “slept just fine.” He added that the Trump administration was committed to reaching a deal under which North Korea would denuclearize and realize economic benefits in return.

Kim later said that “there are things that I have to clarify” to which Pompeo responded that “there are things that I have to clarify as well.”

There was no immediate explanation of what needed to be clarified, but the two sides have been struggling to specify what exactly “denuclearization” would entail and how it could be verified to the satisfaction of the United States.

Pompeo and Kim met for nearly three hours Friday and then had dinner amid growing skepticism over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal and translating the upbeat rhetoric following his summit with Trump into concrete action.

On his flight to Pyongyang, Pompeo said both sides made commitments at the Singapore summit on the complete denuclearization of North Korea and on what a transformed relationship between their two countries might look like.

One hoped-for breakthrough on this trip would have been the return of the remains of U.S. troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea committed at last month’s summit to the “immediate repatriation” of remains already identified, but that hasn’t happened yet.


Lee reported from Tokyo.

De Oppresso Liber
David S. Maxwell
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161

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