Pompeo Starts East Asia Trip In Japan

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The secretary of state will also visit China, North Korea's main ally, on this trip.

The meeting came as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departed Friday on his fourth visit to Pyongyang where he will meet with Kim on Sunday with the aim of setting up a second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump.

He also included three photos of Pompeo and Kim together.

"It is possible to manage the nuclear program and put some cap on its further development, provided the Kim family still feels it has the deterrent value it needs", Lankov wrote, though he added that North Korea "will expect generous concessions for any freeze, and might not stick to it even then".

"I am really pleased for this opportunity".

Shortly after landing at Osan Air Base south of Seoul, Pompeo posted a photograph of himself meeting with Kim, with their top aides in the background. "Thanks for hosting me and my team", Pompeo tweeted. Both men spoke through translators.

A USA official who was part of Pompeo's delegation said the latest visit to the North was "better than the last time" but added "It's going to be a long haul". North Korea has rejected those demands and wants sanctions to be lifted before nuclear talks proceed. On that occasion, he did not meet Kim.

Mr Pompeo's last trip did not go well. But the official, who was not identified, added, "It's going to a long haul".

Pyongyang and Washington have clashed over the sequence of denuclearization measures and corresponding compensation - a repeat of past nuclear negotiations between the two countries.

Analysts say Washington may now consider new options as China, Russia and South Korea seek to relax sanctions.

Pompeo and Kim also discussed "denuclearization steps that would be taken by North Korea and the issue of attendance by the United States government", as well as "corresponding measures" to be taken by the USA, the statement said.

While in Japan, Pompeo will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono before he heads to North Korea for just hours on Sunday.

Cheong Wa Dae said that Pompeo told Moon that had talks with Kim over denuclearization negotiations, including what measures the North Korean leader would take for giving up its nuclear arsenal in a verifiable way - such U.S. government's inspection of North Korea's nuclear facilities.

But the inter-Korean agreement again failed to stipulate any plans called for by the United States, such as to declare a list of its nuclear weapons, facilities and materials, or a concrete timeline for denuclearization. He has won dozens of awards, including the UN Human Rights Prize in 2008, for his work with survivors of sexual violence in South Kivu. North Korea accused Pompeo of expressing "gangster-like" demands in a statement after the visit.

But clearly, the "corresponding steps" from the USA are critical: Foreign Minister Ri told the UN General Assembly last month that there was "no way" it would denuclearize without U.S. concessions.

"Without any trust in the USA there will be no confidence in our national security, and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first", he said.

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.

"Today is a very important day for the U.S.as well as South and North Korea", Moon said.

At the next expected summit between Trump and Kim they'll likely focus on North Korea's demand for a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which still technically continues.

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