Korean diplomat handling nuclear issues visiting China, Russia

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

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly expressed willingness to give up nuclear weapons and was interested in building new relations with Washington, according to a September 21 New York Times article.

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.

Reuters reported on Sunday that China had cancelled a security meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis planned for October.

It will be the fourth trip by Mr Pompeo to long-time USA pariah North Korea as the Trump administration looks to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

"While surely Pompeo and Kim won't be able to create the complete agenda for a second summit - or achieve a massive breakthrough in one meeting - their talks can explore if such a meeting is viable and what both sides might be willing to compromise on".

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

Mr Kim, who as leader has rarely travelled outside of North Korea, met with Mr Trump in June in Singapore in the first summit between the two countries that have never signed a formal treaty to end the 1950-53 Korean War.

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.

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Critics have pointed out that the Singapore declaration contained no firm commitments from North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs and USA officials have expressed frustration at North Korea's evasion of sanctions.

"It will be the US and North Korea who will deal with denuclearization firsthand". 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.

President Donald Trump and Kim agreed to denuclearization only in vague terms at their summit in Singapore, the first meeting between leaders of the US and North Korea.

Separately, South Korea is proposing that the United States hold off on a demand for an inventory of North Korea's nuclear weapons and accept the verified closure of a key North Korean nuclear facility as a next step in the negotiations, Seoul's top diplomat said in an interview with The Washington Post.

On Saturday, Trump lavished praise on Kim and said they had fallen "in love" after exchanging letters.

Nauert said the stops in Japan, South Korea and China were meant to brief counterparts on the Pyongyang talks.

A group of South Korean government officials, politicians and civic and religious leaders left for North Korea on Thursday to take part in an event to jointly celebrate the anniversary of the 2007 inter-Korean summit. "And we would go back and forth", Trump said during a rally in West Virginia.

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