Pompeo heads to Pyongyang, seeking progress on Trump-Kim summit

Mukwege SAFIN HAMED  Getty Images

Mukwege SAFIN HAMED Getty Images

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made unspecified progress Sunday toward an agreement for the North to give up its nuclear weapons, though there was no immediate indication whether Pompeo had managed to arrange a much-anticipated second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

"Well, I am really pleased for this opportunity".

The North has accused Washington of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on denuclearization and has insisted that sanctions should be lifted before any progress in nuclear talks. "It was another step forward", said Pompeo in his meeting with South Korean leader.

The two also discussed "denuclearisation steps that will be taken by North Korea and the issue of attendance by the USA government", as well as "corresponding measures" to be taken by the US, the South Korean statement said.

-North Korea summit "at the earliest possible date", according to a statement issued by Moon's chief press secretary, Yoon Young-chan.

That idea has the support of some analysts who think the US needs to contain the North Korea nuclear threat and defuse tensions overall.

Mr. Pompeo later Sunday. "It was another step forward". Trump promised North Korea security guarantees and "new" relations. The steps they've taken so far - beginning to dismantle a key missile engine test site and blowing up the tunnels to a nuclear site - have been without global inspectors present to verify, and could be reversed.

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.

Nauert's statement made no mention of North Korea's commitment to dismantle the important Yongbyon nuclear facility, a potentially troubling sign for US negotiators. After leaving Pyongyang, Pompeo tweeted a photo of himself walking down a hall alongside Kim and his entourage, and said he would continue to make progress on denuclearization talks.




With talks largely deadlocked, at the heart of this round of negotiations is a debate over what the USA should demand from North Korea and what it is willing to give in exchange.

Mr Pompeo has angered North Korea by insisting that global sanctions against it must continue until it renounces its nuclear weapons.

Recently, he angered North Korea by insisting that worldwide sanctions must remain in place until it gives up its nuclear weapons.

Prior to leaving Tokyo, Japan, for the North Korean capital, Pompeo had tweeted that he was heading to Pyongyang "to meet with Chairman Kim", suggesting that the United States had confirmed in advance that the North Korean leader would meet the USA secretary of state. On Saturday, he was in Japan; on Saturday he visited both Pyongyang and Seoul; on Monday he is expected in Beijing.

The North said at last month's inter-Korean summit it's ready to shut down its Nyongbyon nuclear facility if the United States takes reciprocal steps.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to two activists who are fighting against sexual violence in wartime.

In the past few days, North Korea has also renewed its demands for sanctions to be eased.

South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha has given a hint of what a grand bargain between the two countries could look like.

Pompeo visited Tokyo on Saturday and will head to Beijing before returning to the USA on Monday.

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