U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives to board his plane to travel to Anchorage, Alaska on his way to Pyongyang, North Korea in Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, U.S. July 5, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was slated to arrive in Pyongyang Friday for his first visit since last month's summit in Singapore, and one of his biggest tasks will be to dispel growing skepticism over whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un really intends to abandon his nuclear arsenal. This will be the third trip to Pyongyang for Pompeo, U.S. President Donald Trump's point-man on the North. He met directly with Kim on both of his previous visits. WHAT KIM'S REALLY UP TOThe bigger question than what Washington wants, however, is what Kim is willing to give.The fact is, Kim's game is more complex than just his dealings with Trump. Though he has met with Trump once, Kim has had three summits with China's President Xi Jinping. Kim has also held two summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that have opened the door to cultural exchanges and talk about big projects to improve the North's infrastructure and bolster trade in ways that had just a year ago been unthinkable because of Trump's sanctions-centric policy of "maximum pressure". Pompeo may be able to wrest some meaningful steps toward denuclearization out of Kim this week.
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