Pompeo: 'Progress on agreements' after meeting Kim in N. Korea

08 October, 2018, 10:30 | Author: Orlando Hughes
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed to arrange a second leaders summit "as soon as possible", and discussed potential U.S. monitoring of Pyongyang's steps toward denuclearization, South Korea's presidential office said on Sunday.

A US official told reporters traveling with Pompeo that the visit to North Korea was "better than" Pompeo's fraught previous trip to the North Korean capital in July, while adding there was a "long haul" ahead.

In a press briefing Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert emphasized that Pompeo's meeting with Kim in Pyongyang demonstrates adherence to a promise, made at the historic face-to-face summit Trump had with Kim in June, to continue the conversation between North Korea and the U.S.

Kim said he believed the dialogue between the two countries would continue to develop favorably "based on the deep confidence between the two leaders of the two countries", and expressed gratitude to Trump for making a honest effort to implement the agreement made at their historic June summit, KCNA said. Their meeting took after Pompeo returned from his trip to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un earlier in the day.

"We are starting to see a first wave of actions we can take on all four pillars of the Singapore communique", said Biegun, who will serve as Pompeo's pointman in negotiations with the North as well as work with South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and other countries that have an interest in the talks.

At his last meeting with Moon, he expressed willingness to allow outside observations of key missile facilities and, for the first time, to "permanently" scrap North Korea's main nuclear complex in Yongbyon.

An official on Sunday's latest visit to Pyongyang with Pompeo said the trip was "better than the last time", but added: "It's going to be a long haul". "Progress made on Singapore Summit Agreements!"

Pompeo said he and Kim discussed denuclearisation steps to be taken by the North and the issue of US government monitoring of those actions, which Washington sees as vital, as well as the measures the United States would conduct in return, Moon's office said. Pompeo did not meet Kim on that trip.

On his way to Asia, Pompeo stuck to his guns, indicating that the spirit of the June agreement between Trump and Kim at Singapore in June was that "we will get to denuclearization in a fully verified, irreversible way, and then we will actually deliver on the commitments to make this brighter future for the North Korean people".

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

"As president Trump said, there are many steps along the way and we took one of them today", he said before the meeting.

The U.S. and Japan have pushed for the North to compile and turn over a detailed list of its nuclear sites to be dismantled as a next step in the process; the North has rejected that. "We will bring up the issue of the abductees as well and then we will share with you how we hope to proceed when we are in Pyongyang tomorrow".

While in Japan, Pompeo will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono before he heads to North Korea for just hours on Sunday.

Both Koreas have differed with the United States on North Korea's nuclear program. He is also due to visit Beijing before returning to the United States on Monday.

"It is important for us to hear from you as I travel to Pyongyang to make sure that we are fully in sync with respect to missile programs, (chemical and biological weapons) programs", Pompeo told Abe.

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.

Nauert also said she could not comment much further on the goal of Pompeo's time in China.

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