Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Pompeo: U.S., North Korea Make 'Progress' on Pyongyang Trip

Pompeo: U.S., North Korea Make 'Progress' on Pyongyang Trip

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his trip to Pyongyang, aimed at breaking a stalemate in nuclear negotiations between the two countries.

"I am really pleased for this opportunity".

He arrived in Seoul, South Korea, in the evening and was scheduled to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in. 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.

On the North Korean side, Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un's sister and a top Workers' Party of Korea official, was present.

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Trump and Kim were forecast to hold their second summit in the near future, after having the first-ever DPRK-U.S. summit in Singapore on June 12.

"I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Trump tweeted on August 24, about two months after his June meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"I will certainly tell you in private about our conversation, but we had a good, productive conversation", Pompeo said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) shakes hands with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during their meeting at the presidential office in Seoul on October 7, 2018. "It was another step forward". -North Korea summit, which Trump predicted might be held "in the not too distant future". It has not taken any steps to halt nuclear weapons or missile development.

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Trump will likely be tempted to hold such a summit quickly-and possibly even in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang-to make history and drive headlines, pointing to another success right before the midterm elections.

"We will have a fully coordinated, unified view of how to proceed, which will be what is needed if it is going to be successful in denuclearising North Korea", Pompeo told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. But prior to the meeting, Pompeo tweeted that he would "continue our work to fulfil the commitments made (by) POTUS and Chairman Kim", using an acronym to refer to US President Donald Trump.

Despite the uncertainties, some argue, North Korea is a nuclear power that will never relinquish its bombs. Kim has repeatedly said he is committed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", but the pledge has been criticised as overly vague by observers. "After having a nice meeting we can enjoy a meal together", Kim said.

The North Korean leader also invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility, which Pyongyang took apart in May, "to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled", according to a State Department readout of the meeting. On Saturday, he was in Japan; on Saturday he visited both Pyongyang and Seoul; on Monday he is expected in Beijing.

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The allies should also consider bringing back the tactical nuclear weapons that the United States withdrew from South Korea in the 1990s to increase pressure on the North and create conditions for mutual nuclear disarmament, Cheon said. The war concluded with an armistice but no peace treaty. Kim remarked that it was the top USA diplomat's fourth time visiting the region, noting, "so I am sure that you wouldn't have those first unusual feelings that you would have when you were first coming".

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