October 16, 2018 09:37
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un refused to hand over an inventory of his nuclear facilities until a formal declaration ending the Korean War when he met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang, reports said Monday.
Pompeo visited Pyongyang on Oct. 7 and asked for at least a partial inventory of the North's nuclear facilities and stockpiles, but Kim told him that without establishing trust between Washington and Pyongyang, the U.S. would not believe the list even if it got it, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.
"Kim said the U.S. would want the North to submit another list, which will lead to a fight," a source told the daily.
"If trust is established between the North and the U.S. through a formal declaration ending the Korean War, we shall see a level of progress that will satisfy the U.S.," Kim added according to the source.
Pompeo returned claiming he could now see a path forward to denuclearization but gave no concrete examples. Instead, the State Department said the two sides agreed that working groups will discuss four point of a document signed in Singapore in April by Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.
One diplomatic source here said the North "presented Pompeo with the option of lump verification after completing denuclearization if the U.S. takes corresponding steps in stages. But Pompeo refused."
Kim also insisted that the U.S. ease sanctions in response to the steps North Korea has already taken, including the return of the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.
But Pompeo told Kim that the U.S. cannot declare an official end to the Korean War even if Kim dismantles the Yongbyon nuclear complex as stated in the Sept. 19 inter-Korean agreement because it needs to check the facilities first.
Pompeo added that the U.S. will "take measures North Korea could accept" if it destroys or relinquishes a portion of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, mobile launch platforms and bio-chemical weapons.
Kim declined to discuss the matter until the working groups have discussed other details.
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said recently that a U.S.-North Korea summit will take place in the "next couple of months," i.e. after the Nov. 6 mid-term elections in the U.S.
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