Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea to continue efforts to get the reclusive nation to denuclearize. There was a noticeable absence from the meeting, however: dictator Kim Jong Un himself.
It turns out Kim may have been visiting a potato farm while Pompeo held meetings with high-ranking North Korean officials, including Kim's right-hand man, Kim Yong Chol.
Kim Jong Un skipped out on meeting Mike Pompeo so he could visit a potato farm https://t.co/aafu0hRrSg https://t.co/q4RJEQe9S6— Jon Levine (@Jon Levine)1531227207.0
The South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday that Kim visited the Junghung potato farm in Samjiyon County, a rural North Korean farming community which shares a border with China.
Kim reportedly instructed farmers to plant high-yield crops and to “introduce various species good to taste and ensure the quality of processed potato foods in production and thus raise the quality of potato production," according to the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's state-run media.
Respected Chairman Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to the Junghung Farm in Samjiyon County, Ryanggang Province. He… https://t.co/Y9gTuJq1bB— Comrade Natalie 🌺 (@Comrade Natalie 🌺)1531179083.0
Kim described the region as “a sacred land of the revolution" which the North Korean government seeks to turn “into a model of the country and fairyland of communism."
KCNA didn't specify which day Kim was at the potato farm, but Chol said Kim was spending time at a "local region."
@AFP @June4Wanda Right On Rocket man— CiCi (@CiCi)1531199661.0
Kim's absence from Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang is another hint that the North Koreans may have played President Donald Trump - using him for nothing more than a photo op - when the two leaders met in Singapore last month.
Kim Jong Un chose to visit a potato farm rather than meet Pompeo. The U.S. delegation stayed in a gated guesthouse… https://t.co/OHfVRvk8T5— Elaine Taylor (@Elaine Taylor)1531215362.0
Twitter couldn't stop laughing at the news.
@AFP Haha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha ✌🇨🇦— Dian Pink (@Dian Pink)1531198891.0
lol "North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have been too busy visiting a potato farm to meet US Secretary of State Mi… https://t.co/dVf8HgE0VU— Ben Norton (@Ben Norton)1531235536.0
@AFP Lol, 'Potatoes over pompeo' has a nice ring to it though.— Heinrich (@Heinrich)1531199796.0
They offered their own theories for Kim's absence.
@LevineJonathan I think he just wanted a productive day! Not spend all day spinning his wheels.— Jeffi (@Jeffi)1531227620.0
@AFP We legitimized them...they don’t need us anymore.— Wendel (@Wendel)1531198921.0
@AFP The NK version of M*A*S*H perhaps?— Tony Early (@Tony Early)1531198945.0
Trump and Kim signed a non-binding document outlining the prospect of North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons program, however recent reports have shown increased activity at nuclear enrichment facilities. No promises or guarantees were made.
@AFP In his defense, potatoes are fascinating.— Mule Brenner (@Mule Brenner)1531198892.0
On Saturday, following Pompeo's departure, KCNA issued a statement calling American efforts to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize as "gangster-like" and "cancerous."
“The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization,” the statement said. “The issues the U.S. side insisted on during the talks were the same cancerous ones that the past U.S. administrations had insisted on.”
@AFP @ForeignOfficial As predicted weeks ago, KJU holds the upper hand and will not be dictated to by an extremely… https://t.co/owxzvLjAIc— 🌐S.E.A.Observer🇬🇧🇱🇦🇲🇲🇹🇭 (@🌐S.E.A.Observer🇬🇧🇱🇦🇲🇲🇹🇭)1531199697.0
I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We ag… https://t.co/elx3PlmqT9— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1531146306.0