Mon, Oct 08, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Kim, Pompeo agree to second summit ‘at earliest date’

AFP, SEOUL

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, listens to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, during a meeting at the Blue House in Seoul yesterday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to hold a second summit with US President Donald Trump as soon as possible, Seoul said yesterday, after Washington’s top diplomat held “productive” talks on denuclearization with him in Pyongyang.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Kim yesterday morning for about two hours of talks followed by a lunch, before flying to Seoul on a whirlwind diplomatic visit to the region.

Pompeo said “he agreed with Chairman Kim to hold the second US-North Korea summit at the earliest date possible,” South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement, although no specific time or location has yet been agreed.

Pompeo and Kim also discussed “denuclearization steps that would be taken by North Korea and the issue of attendance by the US government,” as well as “corresponding measures” to be taken by the US, the statement said.

The visit was Pompeo’s fourth to North Korea.

“We continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore Summit. Thanks for hosting me and my team,” Pompeo tweeted.

Kim also praised their “nice meeting,” telling Pompeo via an interpreter following the morning’s talks that it was “a very nice day that promises a good future ... for both countries.”

An official on the 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.”

Following his arrival in Seoul from Pyongyang, Pompeo said at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he had “a good productive conversation” with Kim, in talks which represented “another step forward.”

Moon, who held three summits with Kim this year and also brokered the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, said the “whole world” was watching with keen interest the outcomes of Pompeo’s trip.

“I hope your trip to North Korea and the upcoming second US-North Korea summit will provide a good opportunity for achieving irreversible, decisive progress in terms of denuclearization and the peace process on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha has given a hint of what a grand bargain between the two countries could look like.

In an interview with the Washington Post, she said the North could agree to dismantle Yongbyon, its signature nuclear site, and in exchange, the US would declare a formal end to the Korean War, but the North would stop short of delivering an exhaustive list of its nuclear facilities.

Pompeo is to wrap up his trip with a visit to Beijing today.

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