Pompeo says won't put timeline on North Korea denuclearization steps

Kim Jong-un attending a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People's Army

Kim Jong-un attending a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People's Army Credit KCNA VIA KNS AFP Getty Images

Despite the rapprochement, North Korea's dire human rights situation remains a sore point that is apparently still off the agenda for talks.

File image of U.S. president Donald Trump met Kim Jong-un in SIngapore. Nearly all of them are over 70 years old. At that time there were over 80,000 registered family members still alive in the South.

In the joint statement, Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", but made no reference to a timeline, and going into the summit, Pyongyang repeatedly rejected unilateral nuclear disarmament. The North even issued special anti-U.S. postage stamps. "North Korea relations we will take additional steps in correspondence".

The Kim government has in the past looked with suspicion on families in the North with relatives living in the South.

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"In North Korea, the separated families are the ones who are politically labeled as the family member of the ones who escaped to the South", said Ahn Chan-il.

It would enable 100 South Korean people, mostly elderly ones, to get together with their families across the border, decades after being separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Those selected to participate are usually screened and instructed to ensure they praise the leader and describe their lives in the North in a positive light.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.

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But the leadership in Pyongyang does not seem ready to ease any restrictions that it may perceive as threatening the Kim family's hold on power.

Pyongyang's relations with Washington also appear to be on track since the Singapore summit, although a senior USA defence official stressed over the weekend that the United States would soon present North Korea with a timeline of "specific asks" on denuclearisation.

So far, it hasn't said much about what Washington is interested in the most - denuclearization. However, no specific measures were mentioned.

Referring to Trump's decision to suspend U.S. military exercises in the region, Pompeo said that "the President was clear".

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Pompeo told reporters on a visit to Seoul earlier this month he would take the lead role in driving the North Korea negotiation process forward following the summit.

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