Pompeo says North Korea ready to let inspectors into missile, nuclear sites

08 October, 2018, 19:11 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang

Before reporters were ushered from the room, Pompeo focused instead on what the two sides agreed on: the importance of denuclearizing of North Korea.

"Yeah, so we had a great, great visit this morning", Pompeo replied.

"We have great concerns about actions that China has taken and I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss each of those today because this is an incredibly important relationship", Pompeo said, according to a Bloomberg report.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris upon his arrival at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, in South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, after his North Korea trip.

In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Kim had invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-Ri test site in order to confirm that it had been dismantled.

"The Secretary stressed that the most important development to come out of his latest meeting with the North Korean leader was that both Kim and Trump see eye-to-eye on the (quote) "real progress that can be made", something substantial - at the next summit".

Russian Federation is drawing up plans to host a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Moscow, according to the Kremlin.

What did Pompeo and Kim agree to?

In recent weeks, USA officials have pointed to a recent meeting in Pyongyang between Kim and Moon, when North Korea committed to dismantling a missile-engine-testing site and raised the possibility of doing the same at its Yongbyon nuclear-enrichment facility.

The trade war between China and the USA is however being seen as a barrier to co-operation in the North Korean crisis.

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But the senior USA official said the United States still expected cooperation with Beijing on efforts to denuclearize North Korea, whose chief ally is China.

Pompeo met with Kim for three and a half hours, which included a 90-minute luncheon, and then flew to Seoul later Sunday to share the outcome with South Korean officials.

"It's a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries", Kim told Pompeo through an interpreter as they sat down for the meal.

It was Pompeo's fourth trip to Pyongyang and his first visit since July, when he spent the night and left with little to show for his journey.

It added that there was an agreement to hold working-level talks to arrange a second summit between Kim and Trump.

Trump met with Kim in Singapore in June and - at the time - announced that the two countries are set to "start a new history".

After a previous visit to Pyongyang in July, Pompeo had said the two foes made progress on key issues - but within hours of his departure the North condemned "gangster-like" demands from the U.S., raising questions over how much the two sides really saw eye to eye.

When asked for a date on the inspection, Pompeo responded: "As soon as we get it logistically worked out".

Pompeo told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that the meeting was "another step forward" in the denuclearisation process. The North has rejected that and South Korea has suggested it may not be a necessary next step.

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