Trump confirms CIA head Pompeo went to North Korea to meet Kim Jong Un, went 'very smoothly'

 

  • President Donald Trump has confirmed that Mike Pompeo, the head of the CIA and Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, went to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un.
  • According to Trump, the two men interacted "very smoothly" and formed a "good relationship."
  • The meeting is still more remarkable given that only a year ago North Korean propaganda alleged that the CIA was plotting to kill Kim.

President Donald Trump has confirmed that Mike Pompeo, the head of the CIA and Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, went to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un.

According to Trump, the two men interacted "very smoothly" and formed a "good relationship."

The President tweeted: "Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week. Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!"

The meeting is still more remarkable given that only a year ago North Korean propaganda alleged that the CIA was plotting to kill Kim. The trip reportedly happened over Easter weekend and has been kept quiet as the US and North Korea deliberate on how best to coordinate a planned summer summit between Trump and Kim.

The news of Pompeo's secret trip comes after South Korea confirmed that its officials are in talks to end the 68-year long Korean war with a peace deal, to which Trump has given his blessing.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a meeting with CIA Director nominee Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., in his Capitol office on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Mike Pompeo (L) is sworn in as CIA Director by Vice President Mike Pence (R) as wife Susan Pompeo (2nd L) looks on at Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pompeo was confirmed for the position by the Senate this evening.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 28: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., right, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, June 28, 2016, to announce the Committee's report on the 2012 attacks in Libya that killed four Americans. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., also appears. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican from Kansas and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director nominee for President-elect Donald Trump, swears in to a Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Pompeo is seeking to reassure senators that he can shift from an outspoken policymaker to an objective spy chief if confirmed.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a meeting with CIA Director nominee Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., in his Capitol office on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) arrives to testify before a Senate Intelligence hearing on his nomination of to be become director of the CIA at Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (R) finishes swearing in Mike Pompeo, flanked by his wife Susan Pompeo, to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the vice president's ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Mike Pompeo gets a hug from supporter Jennifer O'Connor after arriving at the Sedgwick County Republican headquarters at Market Centre in Wichita, Kansas, on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

(Fernando Salazar/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images)

Adam Schiff (D-CA) left, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) center, and moderator Chuck Todd, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

(William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for the director of the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) attends his confirmation hearing before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee on January 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mr. Pompeo is a former Army officer who graduated first in his class from West Point.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) listens as Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) speaks during his confirmation hearing to be the director of the CIA before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee on January 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mr. Pompeo is a former Army officer who graduated first in his class from West Point.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., speaks during the news conference before a group of House Republican freshmen walked to the Senate to deliver a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. The letter called on the Senate to pass a long term continuing resolution with spending cuts.

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

US Congressman Mike Pompeo (C), R-Kansas, sits in the dark after a power failure with US Senator Pat Roberts (L), a former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and former US Senator Bob Dole (R), R-Kansas, as he prepares to testify before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, January 12, 2017, on his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Trump administration.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., center, nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is introduced by former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., right, and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., during Pompeo's Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building, January 12, 2017. The hearing was moved from Hart Building due to a peer outage.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Incoming Trump administration cabinet secretary nominees including Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson (L-R), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director nominee Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary nominee James Mattis arrive for meetings at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 13, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Mike Pompeo (2nd L), flanked by his wife Susan Pompeo (2nd R) and their son Nick Pompeo (R), signs his affidavit of appointment after being sworn in as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) in Pence's ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

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But as signatories to the 1953 armistice that merely paused the Korean war, the US, China, and UN would have to also approve the peace deal.

Other reports indicate that Trump has a plan to denuclearize North Korea by 2020. However, experts remain deeply skeptical of Kim's intentions.

Kim turns over a new leaf?

Kim, since the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and his announced completion of an intercontinental ballistic missile program that can hit the US with nuclear payloads, has turned a corner and opened himself up diplomatically like never before.

Not only did Kim leave North Korea for the first time since he took power in 2011 to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, he has opened up his country to South Korean pop bands, which he reportedly loves. Kim actually attended a K-pop concert where he was reportedly in good humor and made jokes.

North Korea strictly controls the media in its country, and citizens caught enjoying South Korean media have been put to death or dragged to labor camps.

Do Jong-whan of South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, told foreign media that K-pop songs being sung in North Korea "could have considerable influence," on the country's culture, according to NK News.

Experts have told Business Insider that Kim opening his country to the outside media c ould easily lead to his death, as his regime holds power without input from its people, and has kept them in meager conditions as South Korea has thrived.

Or is Kim waging a diplomatic offensive?

But North Korea has entered into and later backed out of negotiations with the US several times before, though never under its current leader. Also, no other North Korean leader has met with a sitting US president, as Kim and Trump plan to this summer.

"Kim will act during his summits with Seoul and Washington as if he were determined to dismantle nuclear weapons in stages -- first declaring dismantlement followed by incapacitating nuclear weapons and denuclearization," Thae Yong-ho, the highest-ever ranked North Korean defector said at the Mulmangcho Foundation, an organization aimed at helping North Korean defectors settle, according to Chosun Ilbo.

But according to Thae, Kim will extract the concessions from the US but never truly denuclearize, as the regime "can never abandon its nuclear weapons because it proclaims itself a nuclear state in its Constitution."

The clause in North Korea's constitution that enshrined its possession of nuclear weapons was written by Kim himself in 2011.

Despite the moves towards peace and reconciliation on both sides of the Korean Peninsula, the US and its allies have resolved to keep up what the Trump administration calls a "maximum pressure"strategy against Pyongyang, which calls for harsh sanctions and a buildup of military forces in the region.

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