Pompeo: US ready to restart talks with North Korea immediately

Pompeo: US ready to restart talks with North Korea immediately

It was widely reported a year ago that the Trump administration was considering a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.

In his statement on Wednesday, Pompeo said commitments made at a summit between the leaders of North and South Korea were positive enough that the U.S.

"On the basis of these important commitments, the United States is prepared to engage immediately in negotiations to transform U.S. -DPRK relations", Pompeo said in a statement, referring to the acronym used to describe North Korea.

The United States has also invited North Korean representatives to meet with the USA special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, in Vienna at the "earliest opportunity", Pompeo said.

"This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform U.S. -DPRK relations through the process of rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021, as committed by Chairman Kim, and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula".

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But more eye-catching to Washington was his promise to dismantle a missile engine-test facility and a missile launchpad in northwest North Korea that have been essential to the country's development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and invite outside experts to watch.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in praised the North Korean offer.

Washington meanwhile is still demanding concrete action towards denuclearisation, such as a full disclosure of North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities, before agreeing to key goals of Pyongyang.

"We're making tremendous progress with respect to North Korea", Trump said, adding that the relationship has been "very much calmed down". Earlier today South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a joint press conference in Pyongyang.

"We agreed to make active efforts to turn the Korean peninsula into the land of peace without nuclear weapons or nuclear threats", Kim said. Mr. Kim also promised to visit Seoul, the South Korean capital, which would make him the first North Korean leader to make such a trip.

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