Pompeo to travel to N.Korea, meet Kim

Pompeo to travel to N.Korea, meet Kim

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly expressed willingness to give up nuclear weapons and was interested in building new relations with Washington, according to a September 21 New York Times article.

Nauert said Pompeo will also visit Seoul Sunday and Monday to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

Trump last week slapped $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods and has accused Beijing of interfering in the upcoming U.S. election because of his hard line on trade.

The invitation to return to Pyongyang to discuss North Korean denuclearization efforts was made during a meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho amid United Nations sessions last week.

Pompeo's trip at the weekend comes as the USA hopes to move forward in negotiations with the North, which has repeatedly complained the Trump administration has not reciprocated its good will. Pompeo said he expects to a plan for a second summit between Kim and Trump, and to make progress on a "pathway for denuclearisation".

"Everyone recognises that we have a lot of work that is left to be done", she said.

"But obviously these conversations are going in the right direction and we feel confident enough to hop on a plane to head there to continue the conversations". However, he declined to comment on recent negative signals from North Korea, including complaints about Washington's apparent reluctance to agree to a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean war without major concessions.

But the countries appear to differ on what the corresponding measures should be.

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Pompeo brushed aside suggestions of differences between himself and Trump over a timeline for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

The official Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday said that a peace treaty "can never be a bargaining chip", calling an end to war "not just a gift from one man to another".

Asked whether the Trump administration was considering the lifting of sanctions, Nauert said that there had been "no change" in USA policy over the past few months. He said there's continuing worldwide support for economic sanctions to remain on North Korea in the meantime.

"Secretary Pompeo accepted Chairman Kim's invitation to travel to Pyongyang next month to make further progress on the implementation of the commitments from the US-DPRK Singapore summit, including the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, and to prepare for a second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim", she said in a statement.

The trip would be Pompeo's fourth to North Korea and comes a month after Trump canceled a trip the top United States diplomat had planned for August. "And we would go back and forth", Trump said during a rally in West Virginia.

Nauert initially announced plans for Pompeo's trip last month after he met with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

It will be Pompeo's fourth visit to North Korea amid American hopes of reaching an agreement to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Follow-up talks between the countries stalled, with Pyongyang accusing Washington of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on denuclearization.

"Without any trust in the USA there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first", North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the UN General Assembly.

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