Pompeo to travel to N.Korea, meet Kim

Posted October 07, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Sunday, the State Department announced Tuesday.

President Donald Trump and Kim agreed to denuclearization only in vague terms at their summit in Singapore, the first meeting between leaders of the USA and North Korea.

"Secretary Pompeo accepted Chairman Kim's invitation to travel to Pyongyang to make further progress on the implementation of commitments from the U.S. - DPRK Singapore summit, including the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK", State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at the time.

Pompeo and Kim will also likely discuss a second summit between Kim and President Trump, which the White House said was in the works earlier last month.

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.

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The US has insisted on maintaining tight United Nations sanctions against North Korea during the diplomatic drive, while Beijing has said it is time to start easing sanctions.

While the president has boasted of his success in reducing tensions with North Korea, he said last week he did not want to "play the time game" with nuclear talks, and instructed Pompeo to avoid setting a timeline.

Pompeo had planned to travel to North Korea in August but Trump cancelled the trip at the last moment and publicly acknowledged for the first time that his efforts to get Pyongyang to denuclearize had stalled.

But speaking two days later at the UNGA, North Korea's Foreign Minister said the ball was now in Washington's court.

On Saturday, Trump lavished praise on Kim - considered by human rights groups to be one of the world's most repressive leaders - and said they had fallen "in love" after an exchange of letters.

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The DPRK on Saturday demanded the United States take steps to secure Pyongyang's trust before its denuclearization.

Washington has requested that North Korea provide a complete inventory of its weapons programs before they will take any measures toward peace, according to an October 1 Reuters article.

"We are not easing the pressure in that regard at all", she said, while responding when asked if Washington was considering any kind of peace declaration: "We are not".

Since then, negotiations over when and how denuclearization would occur have been rocky, with with neither side able to agree on a starting point and widespread skepticism in the United States over whether Pyongyang is serious about renouncing an arsenal it sees as the only way to guarantee its safety. "Nothing has changed with regard to our policy".

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