North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed to arrange a second summit “as soon as possible,” and discussed potential U.S. inspections of North Korean nuclear sites, South Korea’s presidential office said Sunday.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in held talks with Pompeo in Seoul after the top U.S. diplomat met with Kim for more than three hours during a short trip to Pyongyang that was aimed at breaking a gridlock in the nuclear talks.
Pompeo told Moon that he and Kim discussed denuclearization steps to be taken by the North and the issue of U.S. government inspection of those actions, which Washington has been calling for, as well as the measures the United States would conduct in return, according to Moon’s press secretary Yoon Young-chan.
Pompeo and Kim also agreed to form a working group “at an early date” to discuss the denuclearization process and the second summit, which Kim proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter last month, Yoon said.
“Secretary Pompeo said he and Chairman Kim concurred that they will hold the second U.S.-North Korea summit as soon as possible,” Yoon said in a statement.
“The two sides also agreed to continue discussions to decide on the detailed timing and location of the second summit.”
While Seoul sounded upbeat, Pompeo struck a more cautious tone.
He said his latest, fourth trip to the North was “another step forward” to denuclearization and he had a “good, productive conversation” with Kim, but more needed to be done.
“As President Trump said, there are many steps along the way and we took one of them today,” Pompeo told Moon. “It was another step forward. So this is, I think, a good outcome for all of us.”
Moon expressed hopes that Pompeo’s trip and the proposed second meeting between Kim and Trump would make “irreversible, decisive progress in terms of denuclearization as well as the peace process.”