Pompeo heads back to N.Korea with historic deal in play


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged Saturday that the Trump administration's effort to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons would be fully coordinated with allies Japan and South Korea, as he prepared to travel to Pyongyang under pressure to produce tangible progress toward that goal.

North Korean officials who dined with members of Mr. Pompeo's entourage in a separate room said that it would be great if Mr. Trump visited Pyongyang for a second summit meeting with Mr. Kim. Shaking hands with Kim in Singapore back in June was interpreted as a signal to nations around Asia that USA policy towards the north is changing, and that while sanctions evasion won't be encouraged, it won't spark armed conflict either.

Aside from Pompeo, the USA side included Stephen Biegun, the new US special envoy for North Korea, and Andrew Kim, who heads a Korea working group at the CIA that Pompeo set up while he was running the agency.

Mr Pompeo later tweeted: "We continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore Summit".

Later Sunday, Pompeo flew to Seoul where he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "North Korea summit, which I hope will be happening soon, will make an irreversible and decisive progress in terms of complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula as well as the peace process".

The top US diplomat met with Kim for around two hours Sunday morning in the North's capital, where denuclearisation and a second US-North Korean summit were expected to be high on the agenda, before the pair shared a lunch together.

Pompeo thanked him for hosting the event and conveyed President Trump's regards.

"We had a very successful morning, so thank you and I am looking forward to our time here at lunch as well".

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, talks with U.S. General Vincent K. Brooks, commander of United States Forces Korea, upon his arrival at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, in South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, after his North Korea trip.

A US official who accompanied Pompeo on the trip, and spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity, said the Sunday meeting was "better than the last time" but that "it's going to be a long haul".

"It's good to see you again", Pompeo told Kim as the two men shook hands for the cameras before lunch.

Trump in June met Kim in Singapore in the first-ever summit between the countries.

They also agreed to form a working group to discuss denuclearisation, South Korea's presidential office said. "It was another step forward".

Then there is the reality that Trump's North Korea policy is unsustainable, something Trump himself likely understands . The US has called for a comprehensive accord and strict enforcement of sanctions on North Korea in the meantime.

After a summit between the leaders of the two Koreas last month, Kim said he was prepared to permanently dismantle his country's main nuclear site at Yongbyon, but only if the United States took "corresponding steps" to build trust. Instead, they want both sides to take a "phased" approach, where Pyongyang is rewarded as it takes gradual steps to roll back its nuclear program.