‘One’ step forward: Pompeo visits Pyongyang on heels of Pence address slamming Beijing

by WorldTribune Staff, October 7, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has agreed to hold a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump “as early as possible,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Oct. 7 after meeting with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang.

Pompeo is scheduled to visit Beijing on Oct. 8, just days after Vice President Mike Pence accused China of military aggression, commercial theft, rising human rights violations and meddling in U.S. elections.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during their meeting in Pyongyang on Oct. 7. / Twitter

Pompeo said he and Kim “had a good productive conversation. As President Trump said there are many steps along the way and we took one of them today with another step forward. This is I think a good outcome for all of us.”

Pompeo said working-level discussions were being held between the two countries to set a date and location for the second summit.

Shortly after arriving at Osan, Pompeo posted a photo of himself walking with Kim on twitter saying; “We continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore Summit.”

Speaking to Pompeo through an interpreter, Kim said: “Today is a very good day to promise a good future between the United States and North Korea.”

Related: In landmark speech, Pence slams China interference in U.S. elections, October 5, 2018

Pompeo met later on Oct. 7 with South Korean President Moon Jae-In. Moon said that the second summit between Trump and Kim would mark “decisive progress” in the North’s denuclearization process.

“Follow-up and further measures to be taken by North Korea on the country’s denuclearization and ways to allow U.S. government officials to be part of the inspection process were also discussed during Pompeo’s meeting with Kim. The two also discussed possible corresponding measures that the United States may take,” Yoon Young-Chan, South Kore’s chief presidential secretary, said in a written briefing after Pompeo’s briefing of Moon.

Pompeo had about a two-hour face-to-face meeting with Kim and later they had a luncheon for 90 minutes at Paekhwawon State Guesthouse. It was Pompeo’s fourth meeting with the North Korean leader.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha, in an interview with The Washington Post, said North Korea may agree to dismantle its nuclear site at Yongbyon.

In exchange, the U.S. would declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, but North Korea would stop short of delivering an exhaustive list of its nuclear facilities, Kang said.

Moon, who has held three summits this year with Kim, told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York last month that “You must have watched on the TV, but based on what I experienced, Kim Jong-Un is young, very candid and polite, treating the elders with respect. I believe that Kim Jong-Un is sincere and he will abandon nuclear weapons in exchange of economic development.”

“Kim Jong-Un said that he is well aware that a lot of people in the world still cannot trust North Korea or think North Korea is deceiving or trying to buy time, even after it took several steps to denuclearize,” Moon said. “But what can North Korea gain from deceiving or buying time?” Moon said quoting Kim.

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