U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said Tuesday he will make his first trip to Pyongyang this weekend since being appointed to lead denuclearization negotiations with the regime.
In a press briefing, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Pompeo will talk with DPRK's top leader, Kim Jong Un, on Sunday.
After a meeting between Pompeo and Ri on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the State Department announced that Pompeo will travel to North Korea to discuss the second Trump-Kim summit.
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Worth mention here Pompeo was asked for to visit Pyongyang by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho when the two met for a summit on the sidelines of the 73 session of United Nations General Assembly in NY last week.
A senior Blue House official, requesting anonymity to discuss sensitive issues, told reporters Wednesday that Seoul had initially thought that a Trump-Kim summit might happen after the November 6 US midterm elections, but the fact that Pompeo is visiting Pyongyang sooner than expected "sends a positive signal" that it might take place earlier.
The meeting between Pompeo and Kim may also chart a possible second meeting between the two leaders.
The trip would be Pompeo's fourth to North Korea and comes a month after Trump canceled a trip the top United States diplomat had planned for August.
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Nauert said she did not agree that talks had stalled and when asked if Trump's comments on Saturday had been helpful, replied: "I think if our leaders have relatively friendly relations, that that's a good thing".
The framing of incidents on Korea's western coast as armed accidents, rather than planned attacks, goes against evidence the North Korean military had increased communication ahead of conflicts, such as the bombardment of Yeonpyeong Island, a former South Korean intelligence official told the JoongAng.
North Korea has placed a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, dismantled parts of weapons testing site, and has pushed for an easing of sanctions before it completely relinquishes its nuclear arsenal. He said there's continuing worldwide support for economic sanctions to remain on North Korea in the meantime.
"There is nothing the United States could get from sanctions and it is no [one] other than them who will be put at disadvantage", the Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party, said in an editorial.
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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. "Our policy has not changed".