Trump Hopes to See North Korea's Kim Soon After Pompeo Meeting

Nobel Peace Prize goes to Congolese doctor and ex-ISIS captive who work to end sexual violence in war

Pompeo had flown to Pyongyang from Tokyo after talks there with Japan's prime minister during which he pledged the Trump administration would coordinate and unify its strategy for denuclearisation with allies.

Appearing with Kim in a photo posted on his Twitter account, the top diplomat wrote: "Had a good trip to #Pyongyang to meet with Chairman Kim".

"Well, I am really pleased for this opportunity".

Following his arrival in Seoul from Pyongyang on Sunday, 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".

Pompeo said he and Kim discussed denuclearization steps to be taken by the North and the issue of USA 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. He had also said he wanted to pin down a date for a second summit between Kim and Trump. "I thought we had a good, productive conversation, and as President Trump has said, there are many steps along the way, and we took one of them today, another step forward".

On Sunday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement that "Chairman Kim invited inspectors to visit the Punggye Ri nuclear test site to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled".

He also was supposed to meet with Kim in August, but Trump canceled the trip at the last minute.

But even on that, he said, "I doubt we'll get it nailed" down on this trip.

According to pool notes from Pompeo's early Sunday visit to Pyongyang - the secretary's fourth - Pompeo and Kim emerged from their meeting and had lunch together before Pompeo left for South Korea.

Pompeo said en route to Asia he aimed "to make sure we understand what each side is truly trying to achieve".

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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.

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.

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. On Wednesday, he said there was unanimous support for this at last week's U.N. General Assembly, even if Russian Federation and China "had some ideas about how we might begin to think about a time when it would be appropriate to reduce them".

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.

America's top diplomat left Tokyo for Pyongyang on Sunday after pledging that the USA will coordinate with allies Japan and South Korea on efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

That is not how Pyongyang sees things, nor is it the approach being advocated by Seoul.

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 global inspectors and closing its main Yongbyon nuclear complex should the USA take "corresponding measures". The war concluded with an armistice but no peace treaty.

Analysts say Washington may now consider new options as China, Russia and South Korea seek to relax sanctions. Pompeo will continue traveling to Beijing and then return to Washington on Monday.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the U.N. General Assembly late last month that "coercive" sanctions were lethal to trust-building between the two nations and that without trust, "there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first".

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