Pompeo visit to China kicks off with frosty exchange

09 October, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Sheila Harris
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"We urge the U.S.to stop such misguided activities", Wang told Pompeo at the start of a meeting, citing the "escalation" of trade friction, actions towards Taiwan and "criticizing China's internal and external policies".

During the meeting in Beijing, Wang said China and the USA should strengthen cooperation on North Korea.

Wang Yi said he told Pompeo during a meeting Monday that a shadow has been cast "over the future of China-U.S. relations".

Pompeo held talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, before landing in Seoul on a whirlwind diplomatic visit to the region.

Before reporters were ushered from the room, Pompeo focused instead on what the two sides agreed on: the importance of denuclearising of North Korea.

Pompeo said that the two countries "will be having more frequent and higher-level working group discussions", but "ultimately, some of these big, hard issues have to be resolved by the nations' most senior leaders". "We also need to clarify facts about the history of China-U.S. relations".

North Korean state media KCNA said: "Kim Jong-un expressed satisfaction over the productive and wonderful talks with Mike Pompeo at which mutual stands were fully understood and opinions exchanged".

A report in 2014 by the United Nations Human Rights Council concluded that hundreds of South Koreans, Japanese and other foreign nationals were kidnapped by North Korea after the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Pompeo's bodyguard was also ordered to leave his weapon behind during the negotiations.

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Pompeo's meeting in Beijing was the last stop of his Asia trip, meant to revitalise the stalled denuclearisation negotiations with Pyongyang, in particular, amid concerns that worsening Sino-US relations could undermine their cooperation on North Korea. The meeting was apparently productive, and they even discussed another summit between Kim and President Trump, Reuters reported.

"America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into greater partnership with us and with the world", Pence said in his speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

One clear victor from the diplomatic back-and-forth in recent months is Kim: The North Korean leader derives enormous domestic benefit from being seen as a respected head of state meeting with a USA president and his top deputies, and not just the dictator of a rogue, isolated regime.

In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Kim had invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-Ri test site in order to confirm that it had been dismantled.

During Mr Pompeo's last visit to Pyongyang in July, he was denounced for making "gangster-like demands". "But if you look at the approach, we are in lockstep with each of those two countries in terms of how we approach achieving the results that everyone is aimed at".

The deputy head of the UN Command that oversees the armistice last week warned declaring a formal end to the Korean War could be a "slippery slope" to dispensing with the US troop presence on the Korean Peninsula altogether.

Kim made a commitment to allow inspectors into both sites when he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month, but experts said it was important to have him explicitly reiterate that promise to Pompeo. According to the former official, the North Korean diplomats told him that denuclearization for them refers to a process by which the USA also reduces its nuclear weapons, possibly worldwide.

"I would assume there are negotiations going on over specifics - somewhere there are people meeting, " said Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

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