Kim Jong-Un invites Pope Francis to visit North Korea

Kim Jong-Un invites Pope Francis to visit North Korea

Kim Jong-Un invites Pope Francis to visit North Korea

He wouldn't be specific but said he and Kim had agreed to soon begin working-level talks on the nuts and bolts of denuclearization and on the placement of worldwide inspectors at one of North Korea's main nuclear facilities, and had come close to finalizing a date and venue for the next Kim-Trump summit.

Kim's willingness to host Francis could be a sign North Korea is ready to take unprecedented steps to joining the global community.

A meeting of top United States and Chinese diplomats in Beijing to discuss North Korean nuclear disarmament got off to a frosty start.

The top USA diplomat met with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang for two hours before Pompeo flew to South Korea on Sunday afternoon for a two-day visit.

"The real takeaway from this Punggye-ri pledge is that Kim has mastered the art of milking a single cosmetic concession for months to burn clock", Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said on Twitter. "Brilliantly selling the same horse twice".

The President said that a second summit "is happening" and that the "timing won't be too far away". "We've made incredible progress - beyond incredible".

Earlier, while still in Seoul, Pompeo said that both Trump and Kim believed "substantive progress" can be made at a second summit meeting, adding that arrangements for the leaders to meet are close to being finalized.

Pompeo did not have a scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a fact that a senior U.S. State Department official on the trip said was not unusual, even though top U.S. officials often meet Chinese heads of state on visits. And the Stimson Centre's 38 North said last week that no dismantling activity was spotted since August 3.

This week, he held talks with the USA secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, where Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said he "explained in detail the proposals for solving the denuclearisation issue", although no details were provided.

Sceptics of Trump administration policy said it was hard to see what Pompeo had achieved. "We pray for that", Archbishop Gallagher said during the visit.

Pompeo said that despite obvious differences on many issues between the two sides, the United States does not mean to oppose China's development, and there is no policy to fully contain China.

KCNA said: "Together with Mike Pompeo, Kim Jong-un appreciated the positively developing situation on the Korean peninsula, explained in detail the proposals for solving the denuclearisation issue and matter of concern of both sides and exchanged constructive opinions".

Kim has also held a series of talks with Moon, opening up dialogue between the two countries, which have technically been at war for decades.

Pope Francis has also this year expressed support for ongoing improving inter-Korean relations, saying the April 27 Panmunjom summit represented "a concrete route toward reconciliation and regained brotherhood with the aim of guaranteeing peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the entire world".

But it made no mention of inspections.

The move signals a new step forward in Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

"As soon as we get it logistically worked out, Chairman Kim said he's ready" to "allow them to come in", and once the arrangements are made "we'll put them on the ground", Pompeo said.

Moon also spoke positively of Pompeo's latest meeting with Kim.

During a conversation with the visiting archbishop, Kim urged him to let the Vatican know his intention to build peace, according to Moon's spokesman.

According to the South Korean presidential office, Kim told President Moon Jae-in last month that Pope Francis would be welcomed "enthusiastically" in his nation.

This is the first time a pope is being invited to North Korea since Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il, invited Pope John Paul II in 2000.

This version of the story corrects 4th paragraph to make clear that Washington has been seeking inspection of Yongbyon. DPRK is the acronym for the country's official name: Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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