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US Secretary of State Pompeo to meet North Korea's Kim Jong-un

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to North Korea for fresh denuclearisation talks

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

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has backed away from a previously stated goal of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons by the end of Donald Trump's first term in January 2021.

US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will accompany Pompeo to Pyongyang on Biegun's first visit to the country since assuming the post in August.

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.

"I think it shows forward progress and momentum that the secretary is making his fourth trip in less than a year", State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.

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.

Since then, North Korea has suspended missile testing and has taken some steps to dismantle facilities associated with its nuclear program, but it has not halted weapons development.

"I'm very happy to be going back to get another chance to continue to advance the commitment that Chairman Kim and President Trump made back in Singapore in the second week of June", Pompeo told a news briefing at the State Department.

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"Cheong Wa Dae was optimistic about the visit amid speculation that a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War and other corresponding measures for denuclearization can be discussed". Earlier, Trump had postponed Pompeo's trip, citing a lack of progress on denuclearization.

The meeting between Pompeo and Kim may also chart a possible second meeting between the two leaders.

Cho said North Korea may have accepted the USA proposal to shut down a nuclear weapons plant in addition to the Yongbyon complex that Kim promised to close during his third summit with Moon from September 18 to 20.

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.

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

Pompeo stressed that in the meantime, . global sanctions have to remain in place on North Korea, . and added there was unanimous support for the continued sanctions at the recent UN General Assembly.

Pompeo stressed that in the meantime global sanctions would have to remain in place on North Korea.

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