Pompeo Resuming Nuclear Talks with N. Korea This Week
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is resuming denuclearization talks with North Korea this week in New York, meeting with Pyongyang's second in command, Kim Yong Chol.
Progress on ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programs has slowed in the months since the Singapore summit in June between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, when the two leaders signed a general statement calling for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
But Pompeo called the coming talks "a good opportunity" to move toward specifics of when and how North Korea might end its nuclear weapons program. The United States is seeking to finalize a deal by the end of Trump's first term in office in January 2021.
Pyongyang said Friday it would "seriously" consider resuming its nuclear testing if U.S. economic sanctions against North Korea are not lifted, but Pompeo, in an interview on Fox News Sunday, dismissed the threat.
"I'm not worried about that," the top U.S. diplomat said Sunday. "We are very focused. We know with whom we are negotiating, we know what their positions (are) and President Trump has made his position very clear"
Pompeo said there would be "no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective," the end of North Korea's nuclear program.
The United States has said it would maintain the sanctions against North Korea until it has reached "final, fully verified denuclearization," although Pyongyang has described the demands as "gangster-like."
The North Korean foreign ministry, in its latest statement, said, "The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible."
Despite the slow pace of the talks, Pompeo cited favorable signs in the U.S.-North Korean relationship.
"We haven't had any missile tests," he said. "There've been no nuclear tests, We've had the returns of American remains (from the Korean War of the early 1950s). These are all good steps."
Xi Pledges to Open Chinese Market
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China would take steps to widen access to its markets as he opened a huge trade fair amid criticism from other countries about China's economic and business practices.
Xi said China would lower tariffs, take more action to punish violations of intellectual property rights, and work to boost domestic consumption of imported goods.
Speaking at the trade expo in Shanghai, Xi pledged to "embrace the world" as China promotes the growing consumer market in the world's second-largest economy.
He did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump by name, but alluded to Trump's "America first" economic policies by criticizing isolationism and citing a need to defend multilateral trade.
The United States and China are locked in a battle over trade, with Trump complaining about the trade gap between the two countries and accusing China of stealing intellectual property and imposing policies that make it more difficult for U.S. companies to access the Chinese market.
Trump has announced boosted tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, while China has countered with $110 billion in tariffs on U.S. products. Xi and Trump are expected to meet later this month.
The European Union has also complained about China's trade policies, including criticizing Xi for not following through on earlier reform pledges. The EU called last week for Xi to present concrete steps to opening its market.