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Tags: cia | nkorea | state department

NYT: CIA, Not State, Taking Lead in NKorea Communications

NYT: CIA, Not State, Taking Lead in NKorea Communications
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 17 March 2018 02:30 PM EDT

The CIA, rather than the State Department, has taken the lead role in communicating with North Korea as President Donald Trump's meeting with leader Kim Jong Un nears, marking a change in State's traditional role in such matters.

Director Mike Pompeo, who Trump has nominated to replace fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has been communicating with North Korean representatives through the CIA and its North Korean counterpart, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, reports The New York Times.

In addition, Pompeo has been speaking with Suh Hoon, the director of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, who reportedly brokered Kim's invitation to Trump.

Normally, the State Department would be handling such diplomatic meetings. In fact, Tillerson had pushed often for diplomatic talks with North Korea, leading to Trump rebuking him through a tweet that he was "wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man."

Pompeo, however, has often spoken about regime change in North Korea and is more skeptical about dealing with Kim. He has, however, defended a meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader, even while insisting that Trump want the meeting to "solve a problem."

Pompeo is not the first CIA official to be in discussions with North Korea, as in 2014, then-CIA Director James Clapper visited there secretly to work on the release of Americans being held prisoner, notes The Hill.

North Korea, though, has not yet confirmed the Kim-Trump meeting, reports The Times, raising suspicions that Kim had made the offer. The White House, however, still seems committed. ON Friday, Trump spoke with South Korea President Moon Jae-in, who has called for talks between North Korea and the United States.

“Both leaders affirmed the importance of learning from the mistakes of the past, and pledged continued, close coordination to maintain maximum pressure on the North Korean regime," the White House said in a press release. "The two leaders expressed cautious optimism over recent developments and emphasized that a brighter future is available for North Korea, if it chooses the correct path.”

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Politics
The CIA, rather than the State Department, has taken the lead role in communicating with North Korea as President Donald Trump's meeting with leader Kim Jong Un nears, marking a change in State's traditional role in such matters.Director Mike Pompeo, who Trump has nominated...
cia, nkorea, state department
337
2018-30-17
Saturday, 17 March 2018 02:30 PM
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