- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks to have ditched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a trip to a potato farm during his latest trip to the country.
- Pompeo was reportedly supposed to meet Kim, but only met his underlings in the latest in a long string of embarrassing failures of US diplomacy.
- Trump said North Korea is working toward denuclearization and has made a number of concessions to them, but no evidence backs this claim.
- Instead, North Korea looks like it’s continuing work on nuclear weapons while stringing along and clowning the Trump administration.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks to have ditched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a trip to a potato farm in the latest in a long string of embarrassing failures in President Donald Trump’s push to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Pompeo travelled to North Korea to follow up on the vaunted Singapore summit between Kim and Trump, where the two shook hands and posed for pictures while securing little in terms of concrete steps toward denuclearization.
Pompeo was reportedly promised a meeting with Kim, but Kim appears to have toured a potato farm instead, according to pictures released by North Korean media.
Meanwhile, Pompeo failed to nail down a framework agreement for disarming North Korea, and he was swiftly badmouthed by Pyongyang.
North Korean media called the US’s negotiating stance “regrettable,” “gangster-like,” and said the “results of the talks are extremely worrisome” just after Pompeo’s visit.
North Korea said Pompeo’s trip went “as badly as it could have gone,” CNN’s Will Ripley quoted a source as saying. The North Koreans “were just messing around, not serious about moving forward.”
North Korea is straight up clowning the Trump administration
So far, North Korea has gained international standing and de facto sanctions relief by engaging in diplomacy with the US and South Korea. Kim meeting Trump fulfilled an important foreign policy goal for North Korea, and China, its main trading partner, has been observed resuming trade with Pyongyang.
Trump unilaterally decided to suspend military drills with South Korea, which could potentially wither and undermine the rationale behind an important US foothold in Asia. Trump hasn’t secured any verifiable steps towards denuclearization from North Korea, or even got them to commit to any.
Instead, North Korea appears as though it’s conducting business as usual. NBC reported in June that US intelligence agencies found North Korea continuing to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
Satellite imagery of North Korea reviewed by ArmsControlWonk.com found North Korea actually expanding missile testing sites.
On July 6, when Pompeo was in North Korea, The Wall Street Journal reported that evidence gathered by South Korea’s military found North Korea working on a submarine that could launch nuclear missiles.
If North Korea wanted to denuclearize, it could simply begin providing information and access to its nuclear sites. Pompeo’s trip made no visible progress towards either of those goals, but produced a conspicuous snub from Kim, who preferred his potatoes.
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