Pompeo in North Korea vows to get details of nuke commitment

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When South Korean musicians traveled to the North earlier this year to hold two concerts in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un made a surprise appearance at the first show on March 31 and sat beside South Korea's Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan.

It is said that during the meeting, Mr Kim mentioned the infamous "Rocket Man" barb used by Mr Trump at the height of their feud over Pyongyang's controversial missile tests.

"While the unification ministry and the foreign ministry move forward with denuclearization discussions aimed at scrapping North Korea's nuclear program, the defense ministry should further strengthen military preparedness so as to use it as a pressure card in negotiations with the North", he said.

"We have a pretty good understanding of what [Kim] has, including some things that he's never acknowledged to the global community before", Morell said. The game was arranged during a landmark inter-Korean summit in April to commemorate the July 4 South-North Joint Communiqué in 1972.

Players of Team Peace and Team Prosperity enter the stadium during an inter-Korean women's basketball match in Pyongyang, North Korea.

South Korea, Japan and the USA military appear to have been caught off-guard by some of Trump's tweets and comments since the June 12 Singapore summit with Kim. USA intelligence officials told The Washington Post last week that North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its weapons stockpile, while recently released commercial satellite imagery appeared to show North Korea expanding a missile-manufacturing plant.

This week, Trump said on Twitter that his administration has been having "many good conversations " with the North Koreans over their plan to denuclearize and that "all of Asia is thrilled".

"Our leaders made commitments at the Singapore summit on the complete denuclearization of North Korea and outlined what a transformed US-DPRK relationship could look like", he said while still en route, according to comments relayed to reporters on his plane by spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Late last month, 38 North, a US -based North Korea watchdog, reported the North was making improvements at one of the country's nuclear research centres at a "rapid pace" despite Kim's pledge to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. "We both hope that's true", he said.

North Korea's commitment to denuclearization has come under intense scrutiny in the weeks since the Singapore summit. North Korea's state-run media marked the occasion this year with overwhelming praise.

This is Pompeo's third visit to Pyongyang _ the first was in March and second in May.

Skepticism remains high about whether there will be practical gains following the Trump-Kim summit, given the lack of concrete promises.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, President Trump expressed hope for the future toward North Korea.

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