Pompeo: North Korea ready to invite inspectors to nuclear site

Lamar Ellis
October 8, 2018

The upbeat tone is a marked difference from Pompeo's last visit to Pyongyang, which saw North Korea slam the USA for "gangster-like" behaviour in its demands for unilateral disarmament.

Trump also called off a meeting with Pompeo in August, due to a lag in the negotiations.

In recent weeks, US officials have pointed to a recent meeting in Pyongyang between Kim and Moon, when North Korea committed to dismantling a missile-engine-testing site and raised the possibility of doing the same at its Yongbyon nuclear-enrichment facility.

Commenting on Mr Pompeo's meeting with Mr Kim, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Mr Kim was expected to visit Russian Federation soon.

Mr Kim said the bilateral dialogue would continue to develop "based on the deep confidence between the two leaders", and expressed gratitude to Mr Trump for making a honest effort to implement the agreement made at their June summit, KCNA said.

The South Koreans said the USA and North Korea discussed establishing formal negotiating groups to set a "denuclearization process" and work out a time and location for a follow-up meeting to the first Trump-Kim summit in June.

Since Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June, US-North Korea relations have stalled.

He said that dialogue would develop favourably "based on the deep confidence between the two leaders of the two countries".

"We believe this has been a direct attack on our mutual trust, and has cast a shadow on China-U.S. relations", Wang said.

North Korean state news agency KCNA described Sunday's talks between Kim and Pompeo as "productive and wonderful", adding that the two sides' stances were "fully understood and opinions exchanged".

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Kim told Pompeo as they sat down, "It's a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries".

The two countries have, however, been in a standoff over what the term denuclearisation means.

In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Kim had invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-Ri test site in order to confirm that it had been dismantled.

Since the denuclearization effort got underway with a secret visit to the North by then-CIA chief Pompeo in April, there has been only limited progress, even since the June 12 Trump-Kim summit that many had hoped would jump-start the effort.

Analysts say Washington may now consider new options as China, Russia and South Korea seek to relax sanctions.

"I would certainly expect so", the official said.

The KCNA said that Kim explained in detail the "proposals" meant to resolve the denuclearization issue and other matters, adding that the leader and Pompeo also exchanged "constructive" views on relevant matters.

Dismantling of the facility began in May, according to North Korea, but global observers have not been allowed to examine the site to verify claims. "We demand that the USA side stop this kind of mistaken action".

"A new order is being created on the Korean peninsula, and that new order will lead to a new order in northeast Asia", Moon said, noting that the ongoing talks between the various parties were essential for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace.

Moon also said there was a possibility of Kim holding a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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