Pompeo Seemingly Stumbles on Kim Jong Un's Name

NYT reports he referred to 'Chairman Un' while en route to North Korea
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2018 4:46 AM CDT
In this image released by the White House, then-CIA director Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, during a 2018 Easter weekend trip.   (White House via AP)
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(Newser) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is making his second visit to Pyongyang and South Korean officials say he will probably bring three detained Americans home with him. Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang Wednesday for meetings with Kim Jong Chol, director of the North's agency for inter-Korean relations, reports Reuters. An official at South Korea's presidential Blue House said Pompeo is expected to finalize the details of President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, and Pyongyang is expected to release the three American prisoners to him. "We expect him to bring the date, time, and the captives," the official told the Yonhap news agency.

Pompeo, speaking to reporters travelling with him, said it would be a "great gesture" if the captives were released, though he couldn't guarantee it would happen. The former CIA chief, who met Kim Jong Un during his previous trip over Easter weekend, said he planned to set a date and location for the Trump summit—and to clarify expectations. "We are not going to head down the path we headed down before," he said. "We will not relieve sanctions until such time as we have achieved our objectives." The New York Times notes in his comments to reporters, Pompeo stumbled over Kim's name, referring to him as "Chairman Un"—with Un being part of Kim's first name, not surname. The Times shares one tweeted take: "That’s like, I dunno, calling Winston Churchill 'Prime Minister Spencer.'"

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