Second Trump-Kim summit to take place 'at earliest date'

Second Trump-Kim summit to take place 'at earliest date'

President Donald Trump says he hopes to see North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "in the near future" after his top diplomat reported progress Sunday at a meeting with Kim in Pyongyang held to resolve details over a potential second summit.

Pompeo arrived in Japan on Saturday ahead of a fourth North Korea visit Sunday where he is likely to discuss denuclearization with North Korea leader Kim Jung-un as part of his Asia tour.

It added that the two sides agreed on holding working negotiations for the second North Korean-U.S. summit as early as possible.

Stephen Biegun, new US nuclear envoy who was accompanying the secretary, said he offered on Sunday to meet his counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, "as soon as possible" and they were in discussion over specific dates and location. Kim's regime has said it wants to focus on more than just its nuclear program, and that it expects the U.S.to show some flexibility with its demands.

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

North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA, meanwhile, said Monday that Kim had "expressed his will and conviction that a great progress would surely be made in solving the issues of utmost concern of the world and in attaining the goal set forth at the last talks with the projected second DPRK-U.S. summit talks as an occasion".

Instead, the top US diplomat has been tasked by his boss with preparing for a second summit with Kim Jong Un, which the North Koreans are pushing for, but that analysts warn will hurt USA goals.

Last month the North's foreign minister told the United Nations there was "no way" his country would disarm first as long as tough U.S. sanctions remain against his country.

"Secretary Pompeo said there had been discussions on denuclearization measures to be taken by North Korea and monitoring by the US government, as well as on corresponding measures to be taken by the United States", Yoon said. "After having a nice meeting we can enjoy a meal together", Kim told Pompeo as they walked down a hallway toward a guesthouse dining room.

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"Most importantly, both the leaders believe there's real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit", Pompeo said.

But even on that, he said, "I doubt we'll get it nailed" down on this trip.

America's top diplomat left Tokyo for Pyongyang on Sunday after pledging that the US will coordinate with allies Japan and South Korea on efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Pompeo told South Korean President Moon Jae-in, "I will surely tell you in private about our conversation".

"North Korea took some steps towards denuclearisation and the United States will face criticism from the worldwide community if it continues to demand complete denuclearisation without any lifting of sanctions", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

Pompeo is expected to meet Moon after his visit to North Korea on Sunday.

"If you do see concrete action that assures the US, the rest of the world that definitely concrete steps are being taken to eliminate very important parts of their nuclear program, then that's a definite step forward and builds the trust", Kang told The Washington Post in an interview last week.

The US and Japan have pushed for the North to compile and turn over a detailed list of its nuclear sites to be dismantled as a next step in the process; the North has rejected that. Japan, notably, has been wary of Trump's initiative, fearing it could affect its long-standing security relationship with the U.S. But there is growing doubt about whether President Donald Trump's diplomatic push can succeed if the two sides still don't have an understanding of what the other is trying to achieve - or how.

He then planned to return in late August, only for Trump to cancel the trip at the last minute as it became apparent that the two sides remained far apart on their approach to the negotiations. Soon after the secretary of state left the country on his last visit, North Korea issued a statement lambasting his "gangster-like" demands.

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