Pompeo to head to Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

Oct 06, 2018, 15:38
Pompeo to head to Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

U.S. State Department said Tuesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for further talks concerning the country's denuclearization.

The meeting between Pompeo and Kim may also chart a possible second meeting between the two leaders.

Both Pompeo and Trump spoke about a second North Korean summit in positive terms last week in NY, while attending the United Nations General Assembly.

A group of South Korean government officials, politicians and civic and religious leaders left for North Korea on Thursday to take part in an event to jointly celebrate the anniversary of the 2007 inter-Korean summit.

It will be the fourth trip by Pompeo to the longtime USA pariah amid American hopes of reaching an agreement to end North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. "It takes a little while to put these together, and we want to make sure we've got the conditions just right so the two leaders can be successful".

Pompeo would also travel to Japan, South Korea and China on October 6-8 to brief them about his visit, she added.

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Refusing to say that talks with North Korea has been stalled, she said "the secretary and the president said we're not going to set arbitrary deadlines in the interim".

Trump's diplomatic overtures are building the trust that will make North Korea feel comfortable with making concessions and joining the rest of us in the 21st century.

"I think the last time things broke down precisely as we were working out a detailed protocol on verification after we had gotten the list", she said.

Washington and Pyongyang have made little progress in their nuclear talks since the first Trump-Kim summit, which drew a backlash for being short on specifics, especially on steps toward denuclearization.

Cho said North Korea may have accepted the USA proposal to shut down a nuclear weapons plant in addition to the Yongbyon complex that Kim promised to close during his third summit with Moon from September 18 to 20.

The North entered talks with the United States and South Korea earlier this year, saying it's willing to negotiate away its advancing nuclear arsenal.

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Rep. Kim Sam-hwa of the center-right Bareunmirae Party said it was every Korean's wish to establish a peace regime on the peninsula through North Korea's irreversible denuclearization.

Meanwhile, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, who was in Beijing from Monday after attending the U.N. General Assembly in NY, on Thursday arrived back in North Korea by air.

"We're not playing the time game", Trump told reporters September 26.

In the September 19 written statement, Pompeo had announced talks with North Korean officials involving him and newly appointed USA envoy Stephen Biegun.

Trump last week slapped $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods and has accused Beijing of interfering in the upcoming United States election because of his hard line on trade.

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