North Korea leader Kim Jong Un inspects Chunghung farm in Samjiyon County in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 10, 2018. Source: Reuters
NORTH Korea’s leader reportedly chose to visit a potato farm instead of meeting US State Secretary Mike Pompeo who arrived in Pyongyang earlier this week to discuss the country’s effort on denuclearisation.
Pompeo visited Pyongyang last Friday and Saturday in a bid to iron out details of the outcome of Kim Jong Un’s historic meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore recently.
But instead of a face-to-face meeting with the North Korean dictator, Pompeo held talks with Jong Un’s right-hand man and Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol. The White House had earlier said Pompeo would meet with Kim himself.
Reports by the North’s state news agency KCNA suggested that the North Korean leader was visiting potato farms in Samjiyon county on the China border.
According to Sky News, Kim Jong Un was seen at the Junghung potato farm where he is said to have told staff to plant high-yield varieties.
The leader also told the staff to “introduce various species good to taste and ensure the quality of processed potato foods in production and thus raise the quality of potato production”.
Kim, who was not seen publically in over a week, was also pictured inspecting potato powder at a factory and visiting construction sites.
While the Trump-Kim promised a new era for US-North Korean relations, Pompeo’s meeting with Kim Yong Chol was lukewarm with Pyongyang later accusing the American of “regrettable” and “gangster-like” behaviour.
“We expected the US to bring constructive measures to build confidence in accordance with the spirit of the US-NK summit,” said a statement from KCNA.
“However, the attitude of the US in the first high-level talks held on the 6th and 7th was indeed regrettable,” it added.