Over the weekend, North Korean officials had some rather blunt things to say about negotiations with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In addition to stating that Donald Trump’s White House was using “gangster like” demands to threaten North Korea into agreement, officials reported that the talks actually left the two countries farther away from an agreement than when they started. In fact, North Korean officials claimed that they had been inclined to give the United States a little something, something in exchange for the massive gifts that Trump left on their doorstep.
“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,” said the statement, released by an unnamed spokesman and carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
But after Pompeo’s visit, and talks that North Korea called “regrettable” … not so much. Which is odd, since Pompeo came away from the same negotiating table claiming that the two countries had made great strides after “hours of productive talks.” It’s almost as if Mike Pompeo is lying to the American people in order to cover up the fact that Trump walked away from the Singapore meeting with no agreement whatsoever and Pompeo is now trying to backfill by getting North Korea to agree to US demands when Trump has already given them everything they wanted. For free.
Honestly, considering that the US already handed over one of its biggest bargaining chips in the form of joint US–South Korea military preparedness exercises, spent weeks spit-polishing a heartless dictator with positive press, and made it nearly impossible to sustain meaningful sanctions … it’s hard to know just what else Kim Jong Un might want.
And as Pompeo was desperately seeking to put together a real agreement to substitute for the one that Trump made up in his head, but definitely did not get down on paper, it appears that Kim Jong Un had a great way to show just how much he values the discussion at this point. While Pompeo was in Pyongyang, New York Magazine reports that Kim had somewhere much more important to be.
When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang last weekend, he was supposed to have a one-on-one meeting with Kim Jong-un. But the North Korean leader never showed up during Pompeo’s three-day visit.
Kim was visiting a potato farm.