Thursday, 18 October, 2018

China fires another salvo at US as Pompeo exits Asia

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang REALDONALDTRUMP TWITTERUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang
Lisa Bryan | 10 October, 2018, 04:38

China's Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, criticised America for imposing tariffs on Chinese goods and for accusing Beijing of interfering in U.S. politics.

"We require that the USA stop such misguided actions", Mr. Wang demanded during an official round of talks with Mr. Pompeo, while listing the trade war and Washington's shifting stance on Taiwan as some of the points of aggravated friction between the two countries.

A senior U.S. State Department official said the United States still expected cooperation with Beijing on efforts to denuclearise North Korea, whose chief ally is China.

While in Seoul, Pompeo said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had agreed to allow inspectors into the country's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, one of the main sticking points over Pyongyang's denuclearisation pledge.

North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA, meanwhile, said Monday that Kim had "expressed his will and conviction that a great progress would surely be made in solving the issues of utmost concern of the world and in attaining the goal set forth at the last talks with the projected second DPRK-U.S. summit talks as an occasion".

The U.N. World Food Program said on Tuesday that the supply of food remains precarious in North Korea, where one in five children is stunted by malnutrition.

The Secretary of State did not meet Kim on that trip.

However, experts questioned what Pompeo had achieved on Sunday on his fourth visit to Pyongyang this year.

At last month's inter-Korean summit, the North expressed its willingness to close Yongbyon if Washington took corresponding action, which Moon said would include a declaration of an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

"North Korea took some steps towards denuclearisation and the USA will face criticism from the global community if it continues to demand complete denuclearisation without any lifting of sanctions", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.


Pompeo has repeatedly refused to discuss details of negotiations, including a US position on North Korea's demand for a declared end to the Korean War and a proposal from Seoul for such a declaration to be accompanied by a shutdown of the North's main known nuclear facility.

This week, he held talks with the USA secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, where Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said he "explained in detail the proposals for solving the denuclearisation issue", although no details were provided.

Pompeo said the two sides agreed to have "more frequent and higher-level working group discussions than we've had in some time on a set of issues" and stressed that "ultimately some of these big, hard issues have to be resolved by the nations' most senior leaders, and we're hoping to have those presented in a way that the two leaders can resolve them when they get together".

"I will surely tell you in private about our conversation".

Regardless of the push and pull and the apparent lack of a breakthrough, it was an improvement on Pompeo's visit three months ago, when Kim declined to meet him at all.

That makes any focus on a second Trump-Kim summit misguided, Klingner of Heritage said.

South Korean Archbishop Kim Hee-jung of Gwangju, who accompanied Moon to the last summit, said the North Korean leader asked him in September to deliver a message to Pope Francis - to work toward reconciliation on the peninsula.

"I am really pleased for this opportunity".

Speaking to reporters en route to Japan, Mr Pompeo said the plan was to "develop options for both location and timing" for a second summit, although he doubted they would "get it nailed" down mostly due to scheduling and logistics issues.

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