CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently visited Pyongyang to hold a secret meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Although an American daily covered the event, the White House made no comment on the secret trip. On April 18, President Donald Trump 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. Denuclearisation will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”
The US president plans to appoint Pompeo as the foreign secretary. Interestingly, no White House or Foreign Office official accompanied Pompey on his trip to Pyongyang. He, along with some senior CIA officers, arrived in the North Korean capital. The daily reported that President Trump would meet Kim in May-June. According to the newspaper, Pompeo’s visit was significant because he met the North Korean leader as President Trump’s envoy ahead of the crucial meeting. Sources close to the CIA said that President Trump would discuss the North Korean nuclear programme with Kim. Before his visit to the Asia-Pacific, the president sent Pompeo to Pyongyang in order to understand the situation there.
Meanwhile, Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 20. The President’s Office in Seoul claimed that the Kim-Moon meeting was a successful one. However, it refused to make any comment on the CIA director’s recent visit to Pyongyang. In a rare first, the North Korean leader plans to meet various world leaders. He recently met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing and then welcomed South Korean K-pop singers in Pyongyang. Even tension between Pyongyang and Seoul has eased significantly since North Korea decided to send athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. Experts are of the opinion that North Korea has softened its stand on the South and the US as Kim is trying hard to change his (dictator’s) image.
Diplomats and foreign policy experts have also noticed that the North Korean ruler has given considerable importance to his sister – Kim Yo-jong – in recent times. In fact, Kim is giving prominent diplomatic roles not only to his sister, but also to his wife Ri Sol-ju ahead of the key talks with President Trump. He sent Kim Yo-jong to South Korea in February and she got a surprisingly warm reception at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Ms Ri, who accompanied her husband on his surprise trip to Beijing for a summit with Chinese President Xi in March, might meet her US counterpart Melania Trump on the sidelines of the upcoming Kim-Trump meeting.
Although it’s not that Kim is ready to shift all his policies, he is trying hard to change his image. That’s why the ruler has appeared with his wife fairly frequently since their first official outing together (to an amusement park) in 2012. Kim is putting the spotlight on women in an attempt to win over world opinion, but his success will depend on the outcome of his upcoming meeting with President Trump.
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