America and North Korea Are Having Two Different Conversations | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

America and North Korea Are Having Two Different Conversations

And it turned out even Pompeo’s modest assessment of the trip’s achievements—which yielded neither public steps toward denuclearization nor remains transfers, but what Pompeo called “productive conversations” on “complicated issues”—may have been too much. No sooner had he left the country than the North was characterizing those same talks as “regrettable” in light of America’s “gangster-like” demand for the North’s unilateral denuclearization.

It was a departure from the recent tone of near-amity between the North and the U.S., and certainly matched neither Pompeo’s characterization of his own talks nor Trump’s tweeted optimism about ongoing “good conversations” with the North Koreans ahead of Pompeo’s trip. Yet it was also a return to form for the North Koreans, who briefly got the summit cancelled through what Trump called “tremendous anger and open hostility,” including personal attacks on Trump officials like National-Security Adviser John Bolton. And the disconnect was also characteristic of the Trump administration’s negotiations with North Korea as a whole—to wit, since the summit and before, the sides seem to be having two separate conversations.