“I did, I did, thank you for the accommodation,” Mr. Pompeo answered. The American delegation is staying at the Paekhwawon guesthouse, an elaborate facility just outside Pyongyang, beside a small lake with a tiny island in the center. The place has the feel of a minor Middle Eastern palace, with high ceilings, gold carpets and stiff mattresses. Soldiers with rifles and fixed bayonets patrolled the perimeter of the guesthouse overnight (quickly disappearing into the shrubbery when a reporter jogged by).
“The area around this Paekhwawon guesthouse is full of trees and plants, and the air is really fresh, so it is a good place for people over 50,” Mr. Kim said.
“That would include me,” Mr. Pompeo replied with a chuckle.
“But we did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday,” Mr. Kim said. “So thinking about those discussions, you might have not slept well last night.”
“Director Kim, I slept just fine,” Mr. Pompeo responded, as an edge crept into his voice. “We did have a good set of conversations yesterday. I appreciate that, and I look forward to our continued conversations today as well.”
Mr. Pompeo then glanced toward his staff, perhaps expecting the reporters to be ushered out. But Mr. Kim continued:
“Since this is the first high-level discussion between our two countries since the Singapore summit, and hence the political field of the United States and the entire world is playing close attention to our meeting,” he said. “We have not yet announced the outcomes of our meeting, but the outside seems to think this is going well.
“And I have heard the news that Secretary Pompeo is quite pleased with the meeting,” he said. “We are just doing our best we can to make your stay comfortable.”
“We consider this very important, too, since it is the first senior-level face-to-face meeting since the summit between our two leaders,” Mr. Pompeo said. He added that “building a relationship between our two countries is vital for a brighter North Korea and the success that our two presidents demand of us.”