Korea Hopeful About Pompeo's Pyongyang Visit

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They held the first-ever summit between a United States and a North Korean leader in June.

The president's North Korea critics are right: Pyongyang has taken no steps to denuclearize in the last three months, and there's no reason to think that it will anytime soon.

Nuclear diplomacy later stalled due to suspicions over how honest North Korea is about its disarmament pledge, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to visit Pyongyang this month to set up a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In a commentary on Tuesday, North Korea's official KCNA news agency said declaring the end of the 1950-53 Korean War could "never be a bargaining chip" for denuclearization and said experts calling for North Korea to declare details of its arms programs were "spouting. rubbish". Ironically, such a settlement can succeed only if the Trump administration's North Korea policy keeps failing.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the United Nations last week that continued sanctions were deepening the North's mistrust of the United States and there was no way Pyongyang would give up its nuclear weapons unilaterally under such circumstances.

Trump has nevertheless appeared keen on a second summit with Kim, even though recent North Korean statements have suggested the two sides are far from narrowing their differences.

Pompeo's visit comes ahead of a planned second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump.

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Earlier Tuesday, North Korea's official propaganda ministry accused the US of "trying to subdue" it through sanctions, indicating that the Kim regime could see lifting such sanctions as a key bargaining chip in any talks over the future of North Korea's nuclear program. That was Kim and Moon's third meeting this year as they work to resolve the nuclear standoff following a torrid run of North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

"Opportunities to engage diplomatically, if they're actually going to be successful, can be warranted, but if there's no sense of progress I should urge the president not to do the meeting", Gardner said. It's unclear whether they will meet Kim before returning home on Saturday.

The United States has nonetheless insisted on maintaining tight UN sanctions against North Korea during the diplomatic drive, while Beijing has said it is time to start easing sanctions.

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

Referring to a previous verification effort in 2008, Kang said that demanding an inventory of North Korea's nuclear assets risks, at this stage, derailing the process.

This photo provided by joint press corps shows Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (L) walking along with ruling party leader Lee Hae-chan and other delegates to board a plane bound for Pyongyang in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on October 4, 2018.

South Korean delegation arrive at the Pyongyang Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

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