The mystery was resolved Tuesday when the official news agency KCNA put out no fewer than four reports on his trip to far-flung Samjiyon county, on the border with China, a lot of them far more detailed than its usual accounts of his "field guidance" visits.
Kim meeting Trump fulfilled an important foreign policy goal for North Korea, and China, its main trading partner, has been observed resuming trade with Pyongyang.
The White House had said earlier Pompeo would meet with the leader, but the encounter did not materialise and the top U.S. diplomat only met with Kim Yong Chol.
The United States' annual August military drills with South Korea canceled last month by order of President Donald Trump as his administration negotiates a halt to North Korea's nuclear program would have cost the Pentagon about $14 million, according to defense officials. Kim Jong-un vowed to push forward with the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" in a statement signed alongside President Trump, but never clarified what that statement meant.
The two sides did agree to eventually hold a summit in 2018.
During Mr Pompeo's trip relations between the USA and North Korea appeared to take a dive as Pyongyang accused the USA of a "gangster-like mindset" during the high-level negotiations. "But, it seems that the USA misunderstood our goodwill and patience".
President Donald Trump said he hasn't yet given Kim Jong Un a CD with the song "Rocket Man" he autographed, but still plans to.
"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 told reporters in Tokyo, his next stop after Pyongyang.
Instead, North Korea appears as though it's conducting business as usual.
Pompeo did not get a promised meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which sent a message, the source said.
He added that Trump has won the "face" as the peacemaker, but will require China to deliver the "lining" on denuclearization as Beijing has a bigger say in awarding Pyongyang economic gains.
"The White House has essentially tried to shoot for the moon and total disarmament, and it's clear that North Korea is not only not willing to do that, but sees very little reason to take steps in that direction".
This morning, Trump was asked if the "Rocket Man" report was true.
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