Pompeo optimistic progress will be made on North Korea trip

Pompeo optimistic progress will be made on North Korea trip

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to North Korea, Sunday, fueling optimism for progress in the stalled nuclear talks between the two countries.

It will be the fourth trip by Pompeo to the long-time U.S. pariah amid American hopes of reaching an agreement to end North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

This comes after North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong-ho said last weekend, . there was "no way" the regime would disarm first without seeing trust-building measures from the U.S. Pompeo expressed hope there would be major North Korean disarmament by the end of Trump's first term in January 2021, . but a week later.

"I repeated it but it was a comment that had been made by the leaders who had their inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang", Pompeo told reporters.

Pompeo, who is trying to arrange a new summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump, will also head to US allies Japan and South Korea, as well as North Korea's chief ally China, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday.

"In fact, Pompeo and Kim's meeting Sunday could be a make-or-break event for US-North Korea relations - especially if it were to go badly".

US First Lady Melania Trump Lands in Kenya This Week
First lady Melania Trump visits with mothers and their babies at Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Accra, Ghana , Oct. 2, 2018. United States First Lady, Melania Trump, has arrived Accra, the Ghanaian capital on her first Africa tour .

Pompeo also brushed aside suggestions there's a difference of opinion between himself and President Trump, . over a timeline for North Korea to ditch its nuclear program.

A commentary on North Korea's official KCNA news agency this week, however, said the declaration should have been resolved half a century ago and it could never be a bargaining chip to persuade it to denuclearize.

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 the exchange of letters. But that date was referred to in a September 19 statement in his name on the outcome of summit between the leaders of South and North Korea.

"In return, the USA may ease economic sanctions on North Korea".

"We want to take a different approach", she said.

North Korea might want to voluntarily dismantle the facilities at its own discretion and open them up for inspection by global experts to verify that it has destroyed them, experts say, while the USA appears to be demanding an inventory of nuclear warheads and facilities first, followed by a broader range of inspections. "I think the two sides adjusted their differences on what initial steps North Korea and the United States will each take", said Koh Yu-hwan, a Dongguk University professor.

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