Kim Jong-un Receives Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo At Pyongyang [VIDEO]

Kim Jong-un Receives Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo At Pyongyang [VIDEO]

Kim Jong-un Receives Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo At Pyongyang [VIDEO]

It seems that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a fuller dance card than we had been aware of when he was in North Korea last week. Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee was asked along with reporter Carol Morello to accompany Pompeo on the trip shortly before their trek began. Both remained in the dark about where they were headed but they were asked to apply for special passports that would allow them to enter the country.

In his report, published yesterday, Lee outlined just how different this trip was compared with other trips he has made as a diplomacy reporter for the Washington Post.

It was Lee’s second visit to the authoritarian nation of North Korea since he had also traveled to the country with Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on her historic visit to in the 1990’s. Lee described that visit in his report as being:

“…a highly choreographed and publicized two-day affair covered by some 80 journalists.”

However, the trip with Pompeo turned out to be more of a secret mission type affair. An hour after handing over his passport to authorities, he and Morello were given new passports and a letter not soon to be forgotten.

“Dear Mr. Lee,’ mine read, ‘The Department of State grants your May 4, 2018 request for a special validation permitting travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea … Based on the information provided, we determined that the validation is in the national interest of the United States.'”

Because it isn’t creepy to feel as though one wrong step could set off a full-blown international nuclear crisis or anything. Both reporters were sworn to secrecy and were asked to pack a bag, be on standby but were not given any specific departure date for the trip. Late on Monday afternoon of last week, May 7th, the two reporters were informed that they would be departing from the State Department at a quarter till eight that night. After a quick stop at a U.S. air base in Yokota, Japan and a quick cold shower, the party was on their way again.

Mike Pompeo described his conversations with Kim Jong-un as "warm"
Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo shakes the hand of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jung-un during his recent visit

Once they landed in Pyongyang Pompeo was whisked off to their destination in a Mercedes limousine. Must be nice, considering that most people in North Korea cannot afford food, much less a fancy German luxury car. Later on, after Pompeo met with Kim for ninety minutes, he gave hopeful “fingers crossed” sign in relation to the status of the three prisoners who accompanied Pompeo home. Ten minutes later an emissary informed that all three would be released, and they would all be going home soon.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, stands as he speaks during a dinner between North Korean dignitaries and US diplomats, Pyongyang, North Korea on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. The photograph was released on Saturday by reporter Matthew Lee who accompanied him on the trip
Pompeo speaks at a dinner with North Korean officials

I have to say that I think that the return of the prisoners is the only positive thing here. The Jung family is a brutal regime best known for keeping their people in economic slavery. The average North Korean subsists on something called injogogi, a spicy soybean and rice combination that translates to “man-made meat” and seodujeon which are small cornmeal cakes. Sometimes, if they are lucky, they can get dububab which is a treat made from rice and chili sauce packed inside tofu. But, as you can see above, the ruling class lives in splendor. One can hope that the opening of relations with the North Koreans may lead to a better era for their people. I, for one, remain highly skeptical but am so very happy for the families of the three political prisoners that the Secretary of State brought home with him.

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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    The South Koreans are pretty hopeful. The clearest indication is there is land speculation going on for land just south of the DMZ.

    I really do hope this leads to a true peace and reconciliation. Even if it means Kim lives out the rest of his life in splendor somewhere far away. But, I have my doubts about the god-king giving up any of his power.

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