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Mike Pompeo to Visit North Korea for Denuclearization Talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to North Korea again next month to reinvigorate stalled denuclearization talks ahead of an anticipated second summit, the State Department said Wednesday.

Pompeo received the invitation to Pyongyang on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The visit will focus on “further progress” toward commitments made by President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their historic summit in Singapore in June. Pompeo will focus on “the final, fully verified denuclearization” of North Korea, according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

The meeting will also reportedly lay groundwork for a proposed second summit between Trump and Kim. No details about the future meeting have been publicized, but last month press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House was “open to and are already in the process of coordinating” it.

On Wednesday, Trump predicted that the second summit would happen “fairly quickly,” adding that North Korea has the “potential” to become “an economic power.”

“Kim wants to…see things happen for North Korea that are great,” Trump said ahead of a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Earlier this week, Trump also praised Kim as “terrific“.

Trump and Kim pledged to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” at their Singapore detente, but little progress has been made since then.

In July, Pompeo accused North Korea of continuing to produce fissile nuclear material, and in August he postponed a planned trip to Pyongyang at Trump’s instruction. North Korea responded by accusing the U.S. of “double-dealing”.

Earlier this month, South Korean President Moon Jae In traveled to Pyongyang for an inter-Korea summit in hopes of restarting denuclearization talks and pursuing a Korean peace accord. He achieved the former: Kim reportedly agreed to permanently dismantle North Korea’s main nuclear complex, pending reciprocal measures from the U.S. Trump welcomed the news, calling it “very exciting.



ViaTimes

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