US, North Korea agree to hold 2nd summit in near future

Aaron Brown
October 8, 2018

While details of the nuclear talks were not immediately available, the U.S. and North Korea agreed to hold a second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un as soon as possible, according to the South Korean presidential office, which was briefed by USA officials.

Moon thanked Pompeo for his visit and expressed his well-wishes for the potential upcoming summit between Kim and President Donald Trump.

Pompeo also pledged that during his meeting with Kim on Sunday, he would raise the cases of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea. 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.

The announcement Sunday came shortly after Pompeo arrived in Seoul, following his fourth visit to North Korea, where he met with Kim. It was partly meant to help salvage the stumbling negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington, after Mr Trump called off Mr Pompeo's planned visit to the North in late August, citing lack of progress.

The South Koreans took part earlier Friday in a joint celebration marking the anniversary of the 2007 summit, where the participants issued a statement that included a vague call for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and urged more cross-border exchanges and cooperation between the rivals.

Pompeo and Trump have both promised Kim Jong Un a prosperous future for North Korea should he abandon nuclear weapons.

Mr Pompeo and Mr Kim did not meet on that occasion, but did this time, and were filmed smiling warmly in what appeared to be a convivial atmosphere.

After Pyongyang, Pompeo travels to South Korea, whose dovish president Moon Jae-in has served as a go-between for the two sides.

Kim made a verbal promise to destroy a missile engine testing site and Trump promised to suspend war games with South Korea.

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Kim also invited inspectors to visit Punggye Ri nuclear test site to confirm it had been "irreversibly dismantled", according to a statement from US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

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.

"You have to question why North Korea is pushing so hard for that end-of-war declaration", he told an event at Washington's Carnegie Institute for International Peace.

No sitting U.S. president has ever visited North Korea, which according to human rights groups remains one of the most repressive countries on Earth.

However, Mr Pompeo declined that opportunity, saying: "I will certainly tell you in private about our conversation, but we had a good, productive conversation".

Moon said he hoped a Trump-Kim summit would happen soon, and would "make irreversible, decisive progress in terms of denuclearization as well as the peace process".

Those include strengthened sanctions and stronger South Korean efforts to undermine Kim's leadership, such as increasing the North Korean people's access to outside information.

The technical state of North Korea's closely guarded nuclear program is unclear, but experts believe that Pyongyang can probably arm its short and midrange missiles with nuclear warheads. He said he also hoped to agree a "general date and location" for a second summit.

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.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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