Pompeo to visit Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

Pompeo to visit Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

He has held summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and with President Donald Trump, who hopes to persuade Kim to relinquish the nuclear weapons that pose a potential threat to the USA homeland.

This will be Pompeo's fourth visit to North Korea since spring. "In Pyongyang, October 7, the Secretary will meet with Chairman Kim Jong Un", State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at a news conference.

Hopes for progress in the talks got a boost last month when South Korean President Moon Jae In met with Kim in Pyongyang for their third summit.

A South Korean government delegation arrived in North Korea on Thursday for a joint celebration of the anniversary of a 2007 summit and to possibly hold further peace talks.

He said he's optimistic he'll come away with a plan for a second summit between Trump and Kim and progress on a "pathway for denuclearization".

Critics have pointed out that the Singapore declaration contained no firm commitments from North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs and United States officials have expressed frustration at North Korea's evasion of sanctions.

Trump paints rapprochement with North Korea as a signature foreign policy achievement, although critics question whether Pyongyang has taken any firm action. Gardner urged against a second Trump-Kim summit unless there's the prospect of progress.

The top U.S. diplomat had announced last week that he was ready to return to North Korea after meeting the hardline communist state's foreign minister on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. He said there should be no sanctions relief until there's at least "concrete steps" toward 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".

On Tuesday, North Korea's state-run broadcaster again called the demands for a nuclear inventory "rubbish". But he added that much work remains to be done and that the sanctions against North Korea will stay in place "until denuclearization occurs". However, he distanced himself from an earlier stated goal of getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons by the end of Trump's four-year term in January 2021. This falls in line with estimates made by various other nations, including the United States, but the South Koreans have been reluctant to comment on the size of the North's nuclear arsenal.

However, three senior United States officials involved in North Korea policy previously told Reuters that no progress has been made in moving towards serious negotiations on eliminating or even halting Mr Kim's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

While speaking at a rally in Wheeling, West Virginia, over the weekend, Trump said that he and Kim "fell in love".

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