Published: Wed, January 23, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pompeo hails ongoing "progress" in talks with North Korea

Pompeo hails ongoing

Apart from addressing North Korea's denuclearisation over a brief phone call on Monday, Pompeo briefed Kono about his recent meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a close aide to the North Korean supremo Kim Jong-Un, the Japan Times reported.

Kang and Pompeo assessed the North Korean official's trip to the "successful" and agreed to cooperate closely on a second Pyongyang-Washington summit so that it will lead to the faithful implementation of the agreement made at the previous one in Singapore on June 12 a year ago, according to the ministry.

Located 132 miles (212 km) north of the demilitarized zone, the Sino-ri complex is a seven-square-mile (18-square-km) base that plays a key role in developing ballistic missiles capable of reaching South Korea, Japan, and even the US territory of Guam in the Western Pacific, the report said.

The summit is now scheduled for the end of February, the White House said on January 18, though a location for the meeting has not yet been announced. "We must take this opportunity and peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue", he urged. A declaration ending the Korean War is also a possible bargaining chip if Pyongyang provides assurance that this would not affect relations between the South and the USA as well as United States troops in South Korea.

Members of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party are slated to visit Washington on a two-day schedule in February to deliver the party's stance on North Korea's denuclearization ahead of the second US-North Korea, the party said Monday.

Moon noted peace with North Korea is "more urgent to us than any other country in the world" and urged bipartisan support from South Koreans for diplomatic outreach to Pyongyang.

He must approach this meeting differently from his headline-making, first summit with Kim in Singapore in June a year ago, which failed to lead to any substantive progress on denuclearisation and merely validated Kim's stature as the leader of a now-nuclear power.

Researchers say among the sites is a secret ballistic missile base, Sino-Ri Missile Operating base, that North Korea has never disclosed. "Looking forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at the end of February!"

A diplomatic source said, "Both the USA and North Korea proposed terms that the other side found hard to accept, and it will take at least another round of talks to narrow differences".

The location for President Trump's second summit with Kim has yet to be determined.

The then-CIA chief is said to have reached various North Korean security heavyweights including Gen. Kim Yong Chol who the newspaper claims has become Pyongyang's principal negotiator.

Trump has said his own negotiating skills can bypass stalled talks among lower-level diplomats to strike a deal for North Korea to relinquish a nuclear weapons program that analysts said can now reliably strike the United States.

The US based Centre for Strategic and International Studies said the Sino-ri base is one of 20 undeclared missile sites.

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