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As North Korea's Kim Yong Chol Heads to DC, Pompeo Cites 72 Hours of Progress in Presser

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Scope

UNITED NATIONS, May 31 – On the much discussed North Korea - US talks, US President Donald Trump on May 29 tweeted, "Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York." On May 30 just before 7 pm Kim Yong Chol and security, as well as at least one staffer from the US Mission to the UN, exited the Millennium Hilton hotel on 44th Street across from the UN and piled into a series of black cars, pursued by media. See 2 minutes and 20 seconds of Inner City Press' Periscope feed, here. They drove to 330 East 38th Street, the Corinthian Condominium where many war crimes linked diplomats have lived and the US leases a condo for its deputy ambassador; they dined for 1 hour and 26 minutes on "American beef." On May 31 after a two and a half hour meeting at the Corinthian, Pompeo held a short press conference at the Lotte Palace Hotel at 2:15 pm. Inner City Press arrived as required at 1:15 pm; there was a full stand up by Fox then another cut short by someone's ring tone. Periscope video here. Pompeo took four questions (Bloomberg, WSJ, ABC and Fox) and was upbeat but declined to entirely confirm the June 12 talks are on. Why could he, if another statement like those on Bolton and Pence could get it called off again? Looks like it's a go. Will UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (again out of town until May 31, when he canceled the press Q&A he had scheduled) try to make himself relevant? Seems not. On travel ban exemptions, the UN Security Council website as Inner City Press exclusively reported is to be run by the "self employed" husband of the chief of staff of the Department of Political Affairs. The Dutch have a role in this website, DPA whistleblowers tell Inner City Press. We'll have more on this. Back on May 24 Trump wrote to Kim Jong Un, "based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting." Simultaneously, UN Secretary General put out a statement - praising North Korea for destruction of an already played out testing site. The UN under Guterres remains out of date, irrelevant and worse. But on the morning of Saturday May 26, Trump's spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place." And just before 9 pm on May 26, in a White House event marking the release of a Utahan from Venezuela, Trump said:

We're doing well on summit with North Korea.. there's a lot of good will... if we can be successful in de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We're looking at June 12 in Singapore, that hasn't changed.”

But the UN remains a place of untransparency. At 3 pm on May 24 Inner City Press asked the Dutch chair of the UN's 1718 DPRK sanctions committee if the exemptions granted will be rescinded. He said he would answer later - but was gone when the UN Spokesman's Office announced the afternoon's consultations were over. The Committee's website lists exempted correspondent banks but not travel ban exemptions; the UN Security Council website as Inner City Press exclusively reported is to be run by the "self employed" husband of the chief of staff of the Department of Political Affairs. The Dutch have a role in this website, DPA whistleblowers tell Inner City Press. Dutch Ambassador Karel van Oosterom pointedly declined to answer Inner City Press' question(s) on May 30, here. We'll have more on this. Watch this site. Ealier in the day at the UN Security Council stakeout, the Dutch deputy ambassador repeated that it would be a bumpy road; Sweden's ambassador said he had just seen the news. The French Ambassador Francois Delattre refused to stop or answer any questions, as has become more and more routine. Trump on May 10 had tweeted "The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th." On May 22 North Korea state media Minju Joson laid down this line: "If the U.S. and the South Korean authorities persist in the confrontation policy and war moves against the DPRK, oblivious of this fact, they will be held wholly accountable for all the ensuing consequences. Dialogue and saber rattling can never go together.”

  So the odds now change daily, and the UN remains marginal at best. While North Korea said it was inviting to witness its destruction of nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri from May 23 to 25 media from South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and the UK, it gave no response to South Korea's transmission of the names of journalists. Hope springs eternal: the South Korean journalists nevertheless took off for Beijing, intent in re-transmitting their names. From there a Unification Ministry official said, "We tried to convey the list through the Panmunjom communication channel at 9 a.m. today, but the North declined to accept it."  The South Korean journalists were left behind in Beijing by the others, then themselves left. Now this, from South Korea's Unificatin Ministry: We delivered a list of eight reporters from two outlets to the North today, and the North accepted it." Watch this site. Marginal UN's Secretary General Antonio Guterres, refusing on the record, had a lunch with his favored correspondents on May 21, with wine; nothing emerged and Guterres was reportedly not not asked about UN corruption, the China Energy Fund Committee bribery case, sexual harassment cover ups at UNAIDS, UNESCO and as is relevant here the IAEA or his continuing restriction on the Press which reports on them. Meanwhile Japanese media reach out to Inner City Press about its UN corruption exclusives, while slowest and most right wing Sankei Shimbun writes derivativesly about Santa Fe, Texas. Second tier. On US talk show Fox News Sunday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said “If they don't show up, it means diplomacy is over. If they do show up and try to play Trump, it means military conflict is the other way forward... One way or the other it's going to be over by 2020.” On May 18, Inner City Press asked the Chair of the UN Security Council's 1718 DPRK (North Korea) sanctions committee Karel van Oosterom if his Committee has received ay request for sanctions exemptions or waivers for the June 12 talks; he indicated No: "the members of the Committee have not received such a request." Vine video here. This was in a loud press gaggle after the Committee met with the UK's Ambassador to Pyongyang, after a similar meeting with Russia's ambassador there. (The UN is using a little known Russian correspondent bank, which self reportedly had the wrong people negotiate the arrangement, as Inner City Press exclusively reported). Those covering the meeting nearly entirely worked for Japanese media, see below. Inner City Press previously asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric if it would play any role - no answer - and on May 9 asked him if the UN had played any role at all in the release of the three American hostages by North Korea earlier in the day. No, Dujarric said, before laughing after a Press question about hindered humanitarian aid and calling Inner City Press "self-centered." Video here. On May 16, North Korea's first vice minister for foreign affairs Kim Kye Gwan issued a statement further calling the talks into question. Guterres, holding a press encounter in Brussels as he rarely does in New York, said he hopes common sense prevails. Inner City Press asked his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  does he believe, it seems like the snags are based on a couple of things, one having to do with this Max Thunder military exercise, and that's the basis on which North Korea said the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] cancelled the meeting with South Korea and more recently they focused on some comments by the new [United States] National Security Advisor analogizing North Korea to Libya.  So, I'm just wondering, particularly as to the military exercises, does he think this is the right time?  Does he think there should be some meeting halfway or is he just hoping that it works out?

Deputy Spokesman:  We believe that the parties involved know what their concerns are.  And, like the Secretary-General said, he believes that common sense will prevail.  He does regret that the inter-Korean meeting was cancelled, but he hopes the discussion will resume." The UN under Guterres is becoming ever more marginal.  On May 15, Kim's state media KCNA cited the joint US - South Korea military exercised somewhat absurdly called Max Thunder as an “exercise targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula.The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities.” At the UN Security Council stakeout on the afternoon of May 15, Sweden's Permanent Representative Olof B. Skoog said had yet to hear of this development; the Dutch chair of the Council's North Korea 1718 sanctions committee went into the Council's meetings, on Somalia and Abyei, without stopping to spek with the press. Back on May 12, KCNA announced that North Korea's "Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground ... in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test." Media from five countries - including the UK but not Japan - were invited. Japan's right wing Sankei Shimbun, which routinely misses North Korea news at the UN in favor of problematic fluff about Kanye West and its reporter Mayu Uetsuka's laundry and jogging in the park, snarked that "
The dismantling of the nuclear test site may just be another theatrical performance to the outside world... It seems that North Korea wants foreign currency under the premise of inviting foreign media." But now an expert opines that "only four media (two US TV, one ROK TV, one ROK text) 100% confirmed going to North Korea to observe demolition of Pyungye-ri. Many media invited have had invites rescinded with no real reason given." So does Sankei stand by its statement this is all about getting foreign currency? Trump back on May 8 while withdrawing from the Iran Deal announced that Mike Pompeo was on his way to North Korea and would be there in an hour's time. Trump said he was hopeful the US hostages would be released and that withdrawal from the Iran Deal would make America safer. Meanwhile Kim Jong Un has flown to the Chinese city of Dalian and met Xi Jiping. Along with a seaside walk, the talk was of synchronized and mutual steps with the US, probably not what Trump wants to hear. South Korea's Yonhap and Chosun have both reported the talks will take place in Singapore in the June, most probably the third week in June. It is noted that Trump often reverses course - it could be earlier, in the DMZ in Panmunjom, or even not at all, depending on how the meeting is pre-spun. Either way, it seems the UN remains on the sidelines, despite intermittent claims of relevance from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his yet to be seen new head of the Department of Political Affairs. Inner City Press, which previously shared a UN office with Chosun Ilbo prior to being evicted for exposing the UN's bribery by Ng Lap Seng and now Patrick Ho, was told she'd start on May 1. Also as the Trump - Kim talks approach, the constellation of those opposing or seeking to undercut them extends from self-styled diplomatic experts in Washington to decadent and ill-informed pro-Abe Japanese scribes in New York. The former include politicians who while first claiming diplomacy was being killed now say it it moving too fast. The latter published, in Sankei Shimbun alone, two separate stories about the May 3 event at the UN in which as Inner City Press reported amid other news a professor from Tufts University said Japan's colonial rule of Korea was better than that of the Kims. Of this, Sankei's Mayu Uetsuka who was not even there wrote that “Mr. Kaichiro Iizuka (41), the eldest son of Mr. Yaeko Taguchi (62) = Same (22) =, said the mother was one year old when she was kidnapped, "I have no memory of touching my mother ". While attention is being paid to nuclear and missile issues, he said, 'Do not forget the abduction issue that human beings are being threatened, human lives should not be lighter than nuclear weapons and missiles.'” Meanwhile the same Uetsuka, unconcerned with human lives other than her own, bragged about renting an apartment on the Upper West Side there is no washing machine in the room. At first I was looking for a property with "washing machine" at the rental site, but I could not find it in the desired area in the budget. New York has many old buildings, so there are no washing machines only about 30% of the property. Piping around the water is not in place, it is also difficult to purchase and install a washing machine yourself. There is a laundry room in the building and it will be shared with neighbors. From friends, I heard that there are some Americans who are washing shoes and they snatch, but they will have to get used to it. In the life of the United States, insensitive dullness which does not care a little is trained. The room I live in is also puzzled by the appearance of the next apartment from the window, but it gradually ceased to matter. Let's start a jog at Central Park for a diet.” No, it's time to be replaced, putting out for old reports, throwing away real information for a self-promoting bartender typist, on May 30 typing slews of quotes about Gaza seemingly not to be used: Kevin Pinner, claiming he “named products, generated slogans and ideas for marketing campaigns” for Chinavision. Oh for the days of Jun Kurosawa, who at least pursued the attempted censorship of Mr Tatsuya Kato (and Gaza). These days Pinner sits elsewhere in the bullpen, ordered to type information that Sankei will never publish, on May 24 on Burundi and Lebanon; Mayu Uetsuka most recently tried to promote New York ads for Hitachi, Panasonic, Shimizu Corporation, and Daikin Industries. She was not present on May 17; no question about Sankei's dubious story about South Korean ship to ship transfers with DPRK ships was asked. Tellingly, even after sitting on the ground at the stakeout, Sankei's Gaza articles were by Mina Mina (or Mina Mitsui), Takao Sato in Jerusalem and in DC, Hiroyuki Kano still running interviews which while interesting are from April: more than two months before. To complain about media critique? We will have more on this.


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