Secretary of State to Speak with Reporters Thursday Afternoon


by Sharon Rondeau

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo served as CIA director under President Donald Trump until early last month following his Senate confirmation

(May 31, 2018) — On Wednesday the U.S. State Department announced a “press availability” to be held by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York City on Thursday afternoon at 2:15 PM.  The announcement reads:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will hold a press availability at the Palace Hotel in New York, NY at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

Members of the press are advised to proceed directly to the Spellman Room on the fifth floor.

The preset time for video cameras and still photographers is 12:00 p.m. The final access time for journalists without equipment is 1:15 p.m. Please note that due to security procedures, anyone arriving after the set times may be declined access to the event.

Given his dinner meeting with at least two highly-placed North Korean officials on Wednesday evening, it can reasonably be assumed that Pompeo will be discussing aspects of that meeting and its bearing on whether or not a summit between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un takes place.

A face-to-face meeting had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore between the two heads of state, but Trump withdrew last Thursday after at least two North Korean officials made statements alluding to nuclear war between the two countries.

After sending a letter to Jong-Un cancelling the summit, Trump received a response he viewed as positive, with Trump indicating that the summit could still take place on June 12 or at a later date.

In a series of fast-moving events, Jong-Un on Saturday met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, and a delegation of up to five North Korean officials flew to New York late on Tuesday from Beijing.

One of the officials who met with Pompeo is Kim Yong-Chol, a former North Korean intelligence officer believed to have caused the deaths of 50 South Korean sailors in 2010.  In late 2014, the FBI pointed to North Korean intelligence as having orchestrated cyber-attacks on Sony Pictures, which the Obama regime said was a “legitimate national security matter.”

Yong-Chol is currently the vice chairman of the only political party in North Korea, the “Workers Party,” of which Kim Jong-Un is the head.

Severe economic sanctions imposed on the communist nation for its pursuit of nuclear weapons over the last three decades have thus far failed to convince the regime to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for the opportunity to build a market economy among the world of nations.  However, starvation and malnutrition have been reported among the North Korean population since the 1990s.

A press briefing released on Wednesday night with an unnamed “Senior State Department Official” showed reporters asking about the food Pompeo and his guests consumed, “the shape of the table,” and the substance of their conversation, although the official declined to go into specifics on the latter.

Portions of the briefing are unavailable apparently due to audio problems, although the official stated that “preparatory work” is being undertaken.

The official name of the venue is “Lotte New York Palace.” A photo and details of the amenities of the fifth floor’s Spellman Room, where the presser will take place, is here.

Update, 7:15 p.m. EDT:  A transcript and video of the Pompeo presser are here.

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