Trump privately expressed N. Korea frustration

President Trump has privately expressed frustration over the perceived lack of progress in the talks, according to a US official, though he regarded the testing freeze as a positive sign. CNN's Alexandra Field reports.

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 9:35 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2018 9:35 PM

Continued negotiations between the United States and North Korea hinge on Washington's willingness to make a "bold move" and agree to a peace treaty with Pyongyang, according to an official with close knowledge of North Korea's position on the matter.

If the US is unwilling to replace the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War with a permanent peace that would ensure the survival of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime, Pyongyang will likely not proceed further with denuclearization talks, the source said.

The establishment of a legally binding peace treaty would require the approval of two-thirds of the US Senate.

North Korea is putting pressure on the administration of US President Donald Trump to begin lifting sanctions, according to the official, believing they have done "so much" by freezing nuclear and missile testing, destroying one of their nuclear sites, and facilitating the upcoming repatriation of US service members' war remains.

For his part however, Trump has privately expressed frustration over the perceived lack of progress in the talks, according to a US official, though he regarded the testing freeze as a positive sign. Trump pushed back against that suggestion Monday, tweeting that he is "very happy" with the progress with North Korea, noting a lack of rocket launches and nuclear tests in recent months.

Both Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, have been urging patience since Trump held an historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month.

Pyongyang and Washington have technically been at war since 1950, and their relationship has been defined by decades of mistrust and failed agreements. Trump's meeting with Kim was the first time sitting leaders of the two countries have ever met.

"We have no rush for speed ... We have no time limit. We have no speed limit. We have -- we're just going through the process. But the relationships are very good," Trump said last week.

Singapore and sanctions

One of the agreements at the Singapore meeting was to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," a notoriously vague phrase that experts say is viewed differently by Washington and Pyongyang.

Pyongyang also committed to returning the remains of US soldiers killed during the Korean War. A US official told CNN that Washington is expecting the return of the first group of remains on July 27, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice which paused the Korean War and established the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas to this day.

Critics of the Singapore deal claim the document lacks specifics and does not tie North Korea to a firm timetable on denuclearization or giving up its current nuclear weapons.

Both Pompeo and Trump have argued there is no daylight between the two governments' positions on Pyongyang's nukes.

"It's really pretty straightforward ... Chairman Kim made a promise. Chairman Kim told not only President Trump, but (South Korean) President Moon that he was prepared to denuclearize," Pompeo said Friday.

"The scope and scale of that is agreed to. The North Koreans understand what that means. There's no mistake about what the scope of denuclearization looks like," said Pompeo.

Trump and Kim also agreed to the "building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula," including the providing of "security guarantees" to North Korea.

Pyongyang has frequently expressed concern that without a nuclear deterrent it could face attempted regime change or other military action by the US, particularly while the two countries are technically at war.

Ending the Korean War was also a key element of the Panmunjom Declaration agreed earlier this year by Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Family reunions in question?

North Korea's ongoing negotiations with Seoul have also run into a hurdle this month, with the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Saturday demanding South Korea repatriate a group of North Korean restaurant workers thought to have defected across the border.

In May, the women's manager at the restaurant where they worked claimed he tricked them into doing so on behalf of South Korea's spy agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS). NIS did not respond to CNN's requests for comment on the claim.

KCNA said the failure to return the women to North Korea could impede efforts to improve North-South relations, including next month's planned reunion of families separate by the Korean War.

UN special rapporteur on human rights North Korea, Tomás Ojea Quintana, said earlier this month that if the women had been taken to South Korea unwillingly "that is considered the crime."

"They should be allowed to make decisions (on whether to return) without any interference," he added.

KCNA, blaming the former government of impeached President Park Geun-hye for the incident, said the women had been "forcibly separated ... from their beloved families in wanton violation of their rights."

"Their repatriation is a pending issue which brooks no further delay," the news agency added. "It is ridiculous to trumpet about the 'pain of separated families' while keeping the new 'separated families' deliberately created due to the inhumane act of the former conservative regime and while shunning the strong appeal of the (restaurant workers' families)."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
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Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
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Monroe4107133
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Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
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Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
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Jasper221048
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Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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