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White House Unhappy With Pompeo-North Korea Visit

12 July 2018

Pompeo, speaking Wednesday to reporters as he arrived in Brussels for a NATO summit with President Donald Trump, said that change was up to North Koreans.

In this June 12, 2018, file photo, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands at the conclusion of their meetings at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore.

At Seoul's invitation, Pyongyang sent athletes and senior officials to the South's Winter Games in February and South Korean basketball players visited Pyongyang last week.

Pompeo was reportedly promised a meeting with Kim, but Kim appears to have toured a potato farm instead, according to pictures released by North Korean media.

He said the government and military would work to design a new civil defence programme to be launched next year that will be aimed at preparing people for natural disasters and terrorist attacks in addition to military attacks.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in a potato field.

Public display of the North's culture or bringing North Korean figures to the South requires authorization from several state bodies, including Seoul's unification ministry and spy agency.

Many schools didn't participate in the air-raid drills.

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Meanwhile, the Pentagon put a dollar amount - about US$14 million - on the costs of Freedom Guardian, which was shelved after Trump met with Kim in a historic summit Singapore last month. "We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea".

On Monday, Trump addressed the dispute on Twitter.

The approximately US$14 million is not an insignificant sum, but represents only a tiny portion of the Pentagon's US$700 billion budget.

At the Pentagon on Monday, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Ulchi Freedom Guardian would likely have cost the USA about $14 million but gave no details on how the figure was calculated.

The ministries added the military will continue to carry out other regular training drills as planned, while combined exercises with the U.S. will be decided through close consultation between Seoul and Washington.

In March, the US and South Korea began a new round of negotiations on the cost-sharing arrangements for the basing of USA troops.

Freedom Guardian, which was to involve about 17,500 United States troops, is usually an annual exercise that lasts two weeks. North Korea has accused the joint drill of being a dress rehearsal for an invasion even though the allies' insisted that it was defensive in nature.

White House Unhappy With Pompeo-North Korea Visit