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Pompeo hopes to travel to Pyongyang soon for Trump-Kim meeting

(Xinhua)    13:56, September 22, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that he hopes to travel to Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) soon to prepare for the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Un.

"I'm hopeful that I'll get a chance to travel again to Pyongyang to continue these negotiations before too long," Pompeo said in an interview with MSNBC. "And then before too long - and in relatively short order - I hope the two leaders get together again to continue to make progress on this incredible, important issue for the entire world."

"Ultimately, that'll be a decision for the president," Pompeo said, referring to the second summit between Trump and Kim.

Noting that the United States has the "patience and determination" to achieve its goal on Korean Peninsula's denuclearization, he added that the sanctions against the DPRK would remain until the Asian nation denuclearizes.

"Those economic sanctions will remain in place until we get to the end, till we get to that final denuclearization," Pompeo said.

In a separate interview with Fox News, Pompeo said that regarding the Trump-Kim meeting, there is still "a little bit of work" to do "to make sure conditions are right and that the two leaders are put in a position where we can make substantial progress," Pompeo said.

The White House said on Sept. 10 that it has received a letter from Kim Jong Un, requesting another meeting with Trump, noting that it was "open to" the meeting and is already "in the process of coordinating that."

The U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton also said earlier that the possibility of another meeting between the leaders of Washington and Pyongyang "obviously exists."

At the conclusion of the historic Trump-Kim summit in June in Singapore, the two sides issued a joint statement, agreeing to improve bilateral relations and work together to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the peninsula.

However, the current U.S.-DPRK talks have been stuck in an impasse due to their differences in the scale of denuclearization, U.S. sanctions, and whether to issue a war-ending declaration.

In August, just one day after Pompeo announced his visit to the DPRK, Trump tweeted that he had asked Pompeo not to go due to the insufficient progress with the DPRK.

During his Sept. 18-20 trip to Pyongyang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in held talks with Kim, and signed the Pyongyang Declaration on further steps towards the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization and concrete measures to end hostile acts near inter-Korean border areas.

Pompeo said later in response that the United States is ready to transform its relations with the DPRK immediately.

He added that "I invited my counterpart Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to meet in New York City next week where we are both already scheduled to be in attendance at the United Nations General Assembly meeting."

"Likewise, we have invited North Korean representatives to meet our Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, in Vienna, Austria at the earliest opportunity," Pompeo noted.

However, the U.S. State Department said one day later that the denuclearization of Pyongyang has to come first before the U.S. side gives any corresponding reciprocal measures.

In a related development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Wednesday that China welcomed the consensus reached by South Korea and the DPRK.

"China, as a close neighbor, always supports the efforts of the north and south of the peninsula to improve their ties and push forward reconciliation and cooperation through dialogue and consultation," Geng said, noting that China hopes that the two sides will continue to implement the consensus, endeavor to promote interaction and cooperation and play a positive role in achieving a political solution to the peninsula issue as well as lasting peace in the region. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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