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(LEAD) New U.S. envoy meets with CIA official on N. Korea

All News 21:34 July 09, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with comments by Singapore's prime minister, S. Korean diplomat's meeting with U.S. lawmakers)

SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) -- New U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris has met with a senior CIA official and was briefed about a recent trip to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The U.S. embassy in Seoul announced on its official Twitter account on Monday that Harris was briefed by Andrew Kim, head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, who accompanied Pompeo on last week's trip to Pyongyang. No details were given.

This photo posted on the Twitter feed of the U.S. embassy in Seoul shows new U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris (L) shaking hands with Andrew Kim, head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, in Seoul.

The meeting is the U.S. envoy's first public activity since he arrived in Seoul on Saturday to fill the ambassadorial post that had been vacant since January last year.

Pompeo visited Pyongyang last week to try to map out details of the denuclearization pledged by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry has accused Pompeo of presenting a "unilateral and gangster-like" demand for "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization.

On Sunday, Pompeo said the U.S. has made fair demands on North Korea in denuclearization talks and added, "If those requests were 'gangster-like' then the world is a gangster, because there was a unanimous decision at the U.N. Security Council about what needs to be achieved."

Pompeo said there was work to be done on a long-awaited timeline for denuclearization and sanctions will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearization.

Also Monday, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed hope that denuclearization will be achieved, though he said it is a long process. Lee made the comments in a meeting with Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, who visited the city-state to receive the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, named after Lee's late father, former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

In Seoul, South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam met with five U.S. lawmakers, including Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner, and called for close coordination with the U.S. to ensure that positive momentum in the diplomacy between the U.S. and North Korea could produce substantial accomplishments.


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