Pompeo to head to Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

Pompeo to head to Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

Pompeo to head to Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

"Moon Jae-In briefed the United States about the outcome of the inter-Korean summit and handed Chairman Kim Jong Un's message to President Trump", South Korean Ambassador Woo Yoon-keun said to Russian media outlets after a recent summit between the Koreas.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Tuesday that the secretary expects to meet with Kim in Pyongyang.

In addition to government officials, the South Korean delegation includes lawmakers, civic and religious leaders and the son of late South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, who participated in the 2007 summit with North Korea's then-leader Kim Jong Il, the father of current ruler Kim Jong Un.

Ri Yong-ho, North Korea's foreign minister, said at the United Nations last week that "there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first".

In order to build trust, North Korea, he said, appears to want "a transformation of the relationship, and the first step of that would have to be comprehensive sanctions relief".

Jacqueline R. McAllister, assistant professor of political science, noted that while a bilateral peace agreement could be signed between North and South Korea, an agreement that effectively addresses all issues related to the Korean War would be harder to reach.

Nauert didn't provide specific details of what Pompeo plans to discuss with the North Korean leader, but she said the meeting will focus on Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities.

Another visit by Mr Pompeo was announced in August but was abruptly cancelled by Mr Trump.

On Saturday, Trump lavished praise on Kim - considered by human rights groups to be one of the world's most repressive leaders - and said they had fallen "in love" after an exchange of letters. "Everyone recognizes that we have a way to go, ways to go, and a lot of work that is left to be done".

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who handles nuclear weapons issues and negotiations with the United States, arrived in Beijing on Thursday on a two-country trip that will also take her to Russian Federation.

He said in a statement last month the United States aimed for North Korean denuclearisation by that date, but a week later Trump said he did not have a time frame.

"I think it shows momentum that he is paying his fourth trip", Nauert told reporters. He said there's continuing worldwide support for economic sanctions to remain on North Korea in the meantime. "We've made more progress than has been made in an awfully long time and, importantly, we have done so in conditions which continue to give us the opportunity to achieve the final goal". "He likes me, I like him, we get along", Trump said at a press conference Wednesday. "Our policy has not changed".

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