North Korea to ‘Ardently Welcome’ the Pope

10 October, 2018, 01:25 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands during their historic summit in Singapore back in June

Speculation continues as to whether Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea in return.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Monday that Putin extended an invitation to Kim last month to visit Russia, and that Moscow is working on the details of where and when that meeting could happen.

The pair met for the first time in Singapore during the summer and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made several trips to Pyongyang since then.

"There was an exchange of stands of the top leaderships of the two countries on the issues arising in holding the second DPRK-US summit talks to be followed by an in-depth discussion of them", the KCNA said.

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, who is helping with negotiations, said there will be another meeting between the two leaders as soon as possible.

Recently the United States escalated its trade friction with China, took actions that jeopardized China's rights and interests on the Taiwan issue and unwarrantedly condemned China on its domestic and foreign policies, Wang said.

After a previous visit to Pyongyang in July, Pompeo had said the two foes made progress on key issues - but within hours of his departure the North condemned "gangster-like" demands from the U.S., raising questions over how much the two sides really saw eye to eye. In June, NBC News reported that an updated intelligence assessment concluded that North Korea was stepping up production of fuel for nuclear weapons at secret sites across the country.

The two officials also discussed the possibility of the U.S. monitoring Pyongyang's steps towards denuclearisation, the South Korean President's office said on Sunday.

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Before reporters were ushered from the room, Pompeo focused instead on what the two sides agreed on: the importance of denuclearizing of North Korea. "An announcement of a near-term summit would show that the Trump administration has again prioritized a flashy show over real substance", he said.

The KCNA said that Kim also expressed "will" and "conviction" to make progress on issues of mutual concern, apparently indicating the denuclearization talks that have nearly been stalled since the June summit in Singapore.

"We hope the United States and China can meet each other halfway and conscientiously fulfill the important consensus reached by the leaders of both countries", Yang said.

"As soon as we get it logistically worked out, Chairman Kim said he's ready" to "allow them to come in", and once the arrangements are made "we'll put them on the ground", Pompeo said.

But, as Pompeo made his way back to Washington after three days of talks in Tokyo, Pyongyang, Seoul and Beijing, it was unclear what had been accomplished.

Yi criticized Pompeo for the USA government's actions towards Taiwan, claiming that Washington is interfering in Chinese affairs.

Mr Pompeo described his fourth trip to the North Korean capital as "another step forward to denuclearisation".

During last month's summit, Kim also reaffirmed efforts to ease military tension on the flashpoint peninsula but remained vague on measures on how to dismantle his widely-feared atomic arsenal.

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