Pompeo, Kim agree to second U.S.-N.Korea summit ‘

Kim-Jong Un
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed to arrange a second summit “as soon as possible,” and discussed potential U.S.inspections of North Korean nuclear sites, South Korea’s presidential office said on Sunday.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in held talks with Pompeo in Seoul after the top U.S. diplomat met with Kim for more than three hours during a short trip to Pyongyang that was aimed at breaking a gridlock in their nuclear talks.

Pompeo told Moon that he and Kim discussed denuclearizati on steps to be taken by the North and the issue of U.S. government inspection of those actions, which Washington has been calling for, as well as the measures the United States would conduct in return, according to Moon’s press secretary Yoon Young-chan.

Pompeo and Kim also agreed to form a working group “at a nearly date” to discuss the denuclearization process and the second summit, which Kim proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter last month, Yoon said. “Secretary Pompeo said he and Chairman Kim concurred that they will hold the second U.S.-North Korea summit as soon as possible,” Yoon said in a statement.

“The two sides also agreed to continue discussions to decide on the detailed timing and location of the second summit.” While Seoul sounded upbeat, Pompeo struck a more cautious tone. He said his latest, fourth trip to the North was “another step forward” to denuclearization and he had a “good, productiveconversation” with Kim, but more needed to be done.”

“As President Trump said, there are many steps along the wayand we took one of them today,” Pompeo told Moon. “It was another step forward. So this is, I think, a good outcome forall of us.” Moon expressed hopes that Pompeo’s trip and the proposed second meeting between Kim and Trump would make “irreversible,decisive progress in terms of denuclearization as well as the peace process.”

Moon had his own third summit with Kim last month in Pyongyang, which was partly intended to help salvage the stumbling negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington, after Trump called off Pompeo’s planned visit to the North in late August citing lack of progress.

Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization at the Singapore summit, but Pyongyang’s actions have since fallen short of Washington’s demands for irreversible steps to give up its arsenal, including declaring all nuclear and missile facilities.

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