Pompeo cites progress made with Kim Jong Un on N. Korea trip

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Pompeo said progress is being made in efforts to denuclearize the country as talks continue for another possible summit between Trump and Kim.

Yoon Young-chan said Pompeo and Kim agreed to create a working group to further discuss the denuclearization process and another summit, which Kim raised in a letter to Trump last month.

Prior to leaving Tokyo, Japan, for the North Korean capital, Pompeo had tweeted that he was heading to Pyongyang "to meet with Chairman Kim", suggesting that the United States had confirmed in advance that the North Korean leader would meet the US secretary of state. The North has also used its diplomacy with Seoul to get to Washington, resulting in a June summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore. "Thanks for hosting me and my team".

Moon, who held three summits with Kim this year and also brokered the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, said the "whole world" was watching with keen interest the outcomes of Pompeo's trip.

However, relations seemed to get a reboot following last month's inter-Korean summit and subsequent meetings between Moon and Trump, as well as between North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Pompeo on the sidelines on the UN General Assembly in NY last month.

As they sat for lunch, Kim said, "It's a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries".

In a landmark summit in June, Donald Trump had met Kim Jong Un.

The US Department of State said Pompeo and Kim had "refined options" for the location and date of the summit. -North Korea summit that might take place by the end of the year.

Pompeo kicked off his trip with talks in Tokyo with prime minister Shinzo Abe and foreign minister Taro Kono.

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The visit was Pompeo's fourth to North Korea. On Wednesday, he said there was unanimous support for this at last week's U.N. General Assembly, even if Russian Federation and China "had some ideas about how we might begin to think about a time when it would be appropriate to reduce them".

He travels to Seoul Sunday evening to meet with President Moon Jae-in.

The North has accused Washington of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on denuclearization and has insisted that sanctions should be lifted before any progress in nuclear talks.

Pompeo and Kim held a two-hour meeting followed by a 90-minute luncheon hosted by Kim.

Pompeo said in Tokyo that it was important to hear from the Japanese leader "so we have a fully coordinated and unified view".

While it is not known where North Korea's uranium enrichment assets are sited - U.S. intelligence suggests Kanson, in Pyongyang's suburbs - or where it stores warheads and other fissile materials, the closure of Yongbyon would be a central step in any denuclearization process.

Seoul is keen to keep the dialogue going, with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha suggesting Washington delay securing the list, which she said would "take a lot of back and forth", and agree to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War in return for a shutdown of Yongbyon.

Pompeo plans to visit Beijing on Monday as he concludes his four-nation visit to the region that also included Japan. On Wednesday, he said there was unanimous support for this at last week's U.N. General Assembly, even if Russian Federation and China "had some ideas about how we might begin to think about a time when it would be appropriate to reduce them".

While the U.S. demands North Korea submit a detailed inventory of its nuclear and missile programs, Pyongyang insists that Washington first provide a security guarantee by declaring an official end to the Korean War before a possible peace treaty is signed.

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