U.S. State Department Has Denied Softening Its Stance on North Korea

Kwon Geun center weeps with his South Korean relatives as he bids farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea Oct. 22 2015

Kwon Geun center weeps with his South Korean relatives as he bids farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea Oct. 22 2015

During that conversation, Kim brought up the fact that Trump repeatedly called him "little rocket man" over the past year, but did not get the reference. The president has also reportedly written a message on the CD and signed it.

Meantime, a South Korean newspaper reported that Pompeo brought a CD with the Elton John song "Rocket Man" to give to Kim.

Pompeo is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later in the day, likely to be seeking deliverables on the concessions outlined in last month's DPRK-U.S. agreement.

Now, he'll be able to hear the tune, and maybe return the favour with a mix tape.

"The more you come, more trust we can build between one another", Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's former spy chief and Pompeo's primary interlocutor for nuclear negotiations, told the USA team at the top of their meeting while reporters were allowed in.

Pompeo arrived at Pyongyang's Sunan Airport on Friday afternoon, where Kim and other officials, including Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Kim Chang Son, a senior official at the State Affairs Commission, and others were at the tarmac, ready to greet him and the US delegation, South Korean news service EDaily reported.

Regarding fears that the US may have softened its expectations in the denuclearization process, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert - who is accompanying Pompeo to Pyongyang - said their policy had not changed and that they are "committed to a denuclearized North Korea".

Pompeo would not confirm the CD gift to US reporters embedded with him.

"The more we meet, the deeper our friendship will be, I hope", he said.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on a trip to Montana that he was still upbeat about the future of North Korea and his relationship with its leader.

Hoffman ended by saying negotiations with the Soviet Union under President Reagan took years to play out and the situation with North Korea is still in its early days.

The top U.S. diplomat, who will be staying overnight in the North Korean capital for the first time, said he looked forward to a "very productive" encounter. "We are committed to a denuclearized North Korea and Secretary Pompeo looks forward to continuing his consultations with North Korean leaders to follow up on the commitments made at the Singapore summit".

In the meantime, Mr Pompeo and Mr Trump have vowed to keep in place the worldwide economic sanctions that they believe forced the North to the negotiating table in the first place.

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