Pompeo says hopes talks with Kim in Pyongyang will lead to denuclearisation



President Donald Trump said Sunday he looks forward to a second meeting soon with Kim Jong Un and hailed a weekend conference between his secretary of state and the North Korean leader.

During Pompeo's meeting in Pyongyang, Kim invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to "confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

"Well, I am really pleased for this opportunity". He came away from it saying the two sides had made progress, only for North Korea to denounce him for making "gangster-like" demands and raising "cancerous" issues. Pompeo has said the U.S.is "making the progress we need".

"Most importantly, both the leaders believe there's real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit", Pompeo said.

Pompeo also discussed additional denuclearization steps the reclusive regime can take, as well as Washington's monitoring of the verification process and "corresponding measures", according to Yoon. "So this is, I think, a good outcome for all of us", Pompeo said. "I thought we had a good, productive conversation, and as President Trump has said, there are many steps along the way, and we took one of them today, another step forward". He also pledged that during his meeting with Kim on Sunday, he would raise the cases of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.

In contrast with South Korea, whose President Moon Jae-in has been at the forefront of encouraging Trump's rapprochement with the North, Japan has been decidedly cautious, insisting that its interests and concerns be addressed. Pompeo said it is important for the two allies to have a "fully coordinated, unified view of how to proceed, which will be what is needed if we are going to be successful on denuclearizing North Korea".

Still, given the president's newfound expression for Kim - claiming during the U.N. General Assembly that they "fell in love" with the exchange of letters since Singapore - it seems nothing will get in the way of Trump and Kim's desire to meet again. On that occasion, he did not meet Kim.

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Arriving in Seoul after spending several hours in Pyongyang on his fourth trip to North Korea, Pompeo tweeted that he and Kim had "good talks" and that they "continue to make progress on agreements made at the Singapore summit", referring to the historic June meeting between Trump and Kim that resulted in a vague agreement for the North to denuclearise.

"North Korea took some steps towards denuclearisation and the USA will face criticism from the global community if it continues to demand complete denuclearisation without any lifting of sanctions", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. North Korea had committed to this previously but has been resistant to allowing worldwide inspectors to visit sites it has claimed have been dismantled.

The governments of both North and South Korea, however, say that is unrealistic.

But the inter-Korean agreement again failed to stipulate any plans called for by the United States, such as to declare a list of its nuclear weapons, facilities and materials, or a concrete timeline for denuclearization.

Pompeo will be in Tokyo Saturday and Sunday and has already met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe there.

The North has committed to taking additional denuclearization steps, such as shutting down its long-range missile engine test site and launching pad in Dongchang-ri on the west coast in the presence of worldwide inspectors and closing its main Yongbyon nuclear complex should the US take "corresponding measures". According to Reuters, a commentary issued by North Korea's official news agency KCNA earlier this week said policy experts are "spouting rubbish" when they say North Korea should disclose details of its nuclear program. The North has rejected that and South Korea has suggested it may not be a necessary next step.

Pompeo visited Tokyo on Friday and is also due to travel to Beijing before returning home on Monday.

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