Pompeo seeks allied unity on North Korea denuke effort

08 October, 2018, 10:30 | Author: Charlene Valdez
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"We'll continue to make significant progress and we are further along in making that progress than any administration in an awfully long time".

The top U.S. diplomat also said both sides were "pretty close" to agreement on the details of a second summit, which Kim proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter last month.

Pompeo said on Sunday his latest, fourth trip to Pyongyang was "another step forward" to denuclearization and that he had a "good, productive conversation" with Kim, striking a cautious note by saying more needed to be done.

"Chairman Kim said he's ready to allow them to come in", Pompeo said. "We are not quite there yet".

Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang happened amid negative signals from North Korea whose actions have fallen short of Washington's demands for a complete inventory of its nuclear weapons and irreversible steps to give up an arsenal that potentially threatens the United States. "So we have a lot - certainly a lot to talk about with the government of China and look forward to that trip". "North Korea summit as soon as possible", Yoon said in a statement.

In Tokyo, Pompeo told Abe that the US wanted to work closely on nuclear talks and that he would raise with the North Koreans the issue of Japanese abductees held for decades by the regime.

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According to a statement issued by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, Pompeo "held productive discussions" with Kim on Sunday, when they "discussed the four elements contained in the U.S. -DPRK Singapore Summit Joint Statement" signed by the two countries' top leaders.

As the pair sat for lunch, Kim said, "It's a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries".

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

Pompeo landed in Pyongyang on Sunday morning to meet Kim after visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday in Tokyo.

"South Korea seems overly eager to improve relations and offer benefits to North Korea without requiring commensurate progress in reducing the North Korean security threat", said Klinger. Pompeo also promised Abe he would bring up the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in his meetings with North Korean officials.

He has also distanced himself from an earlier stated goal of achieving North Korea's nuclear weapons abandonment by the end of Trump's term in January 2021.

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

Pompeo, however, played down the differences.

"If you do see concrete action that assures the USA, the rest of the world that definitely concrete steps are being taken to eliminate very important parts of their nuclear program, then that's a definite step forward and builds the trust", Kang told The Washington Post in an interview last week. "And so there'll be tactical places where we'll have debates and disagreements, that is a necessary component of getting to the best deliverable". "So this is, I think, a good outcome for all", he noted.

In addition, Kim invited inspectors to visit the Punggye Ri nuclear test site to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled, the State Department said. 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.

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.

The North has committed to taking additional denuclearization steps, such as shutting down its long-range missile engine test site and launching pad in Dongchang-ri on the west coast in the presence of worldwide inspectors and closing its main Yongbyon nuclear complex should the US take "corresponding measures". Pompeo will continue traveling to Beijing and then return to Washington on Monday.

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