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State Dept.: Pompeo, Trump Agree on Iran Meeting

(31 Jul 2018) State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert stopped short of saying whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was willing to sit down with Iran without preconditions, after President Donald Trump said he would. (July 31)

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What Trump’s Helsinki Speech Could Mean For America’s Standing In The World (HBO)

Thomas Shannon was the number three official in the State Department — until he quit in June, joining a growing wave of top diplomats who have departed their posts.

That meant he was at home when President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday and told the world that he trusted Putin’s word over that of the American intelligence community.

“That was distressing,” Shannon told VICE News in his first interview since leaving office. “Because I was part of a larger evaluation of Russian interference, or efforts to interfere, in our election. And I have no doubt about it.”

He added, “In many ways this was kind of a wink heard round the world. Winking at Russian behavior which should not be winked at — it should be called to account.”

Shannon spent more than 34 years in the foreign service, much of it in posts across South and Central America. His retirement, he said, was purely a personal choice.

Meanwhile, his experience at the top level of the Trump administration has left him wary, though not quite ready to declare Trump a threat to the nation, like some of his former colleagues.

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What the U.S.-North Korea Negotiations Might Look Like, Simulated (HBO)

The historic summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is over and one of the few substantive points to come out of their joint statement is for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a “high-level” North Korean official to lead, “follow-on negotiations.”

They’re supposed to occur at the “earliest possible date,” and drive toward a blandly-stated goal: “implement the outcomes” of the Singapore meeting.

What do these early rounds of diplomacy look like for negotiators on both sides? To figure this out, VICE News asked four experienced American diplomats to simulate a real negotiation.

“The North Koreans don’t negotiate the way we do,” explained Gov. Bill Richardson, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. In our simulation, he’s representing North Korea. “They don’t believe in concessions or compromises.”

Joining Gov. Richardson to represent the North Korean side was Ambassador Joseph DeTrani — who, in real life, served as Special Envoy to North Korea for the six-party talks starting in 2003.

On the other side, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, a former coordinator for threat reduction programs at the State Department, negotiated for the U.S. So did Ambassador Robert Gallucci, who was the chief negotiator with North Korea during the 1994 nuclear crisis.
They showed us that when it comes to denuclearizing a peninsula, every word matters.

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AP Analysis: Mystery Ailments Puzzle U.S.

A U.S. medical team was screening more Americans who work at the consulate in southern China as the State Department confirmed evacuating a number of employees who experienced unexplained health issues like those that have hurt personnel in Cuba. (June 7)

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Trump Visits State Dept. to Swear-in Pompeo

President Donald Trump made his first visit to the State Department to attend the ceremonial swearing-in of the nation’s new top diplomat, Mike Pompeo. (May 2)

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New Secretary of State Pompeo addresses State Department

New US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech to State Department employees on his first day on the job in Washington.

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Pompeo Vows to Strengthen US Diplomatic Corps

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is vowing to help the State Department “get our swagger back.” Pompeo appeared for the first time at the State Department, following his confirmation last week. (May 1)

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State Dept.: Syria, Russia Keeping Inspectors Out

The State Department says it believes Syria and Russia are working together to keep the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons team out of Douma, while they get rid of evidence of this month’s chemical attack. (April 19)

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