Pompeo Hails 'Productive' Talks With North Korean Leader

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SEOUL-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met separately Sunday with the leaders of North and South Korea, citing progress on slow-moving denuclearization talks and on a second summit meeting between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un but reporting no apparent breakthrough.

Washington said Tuesday that Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang was meant to lay the groundwork for the second U.S.

After North Korea, Pompeo travels to South Korea to meet President Moon Jae-in and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha - and onward to China to meet with senior officials amid growing tensions with the Chinese, encapsulated by a fiery speech from Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday.

"Had a good trip to #Pyongyang to meet with Chairman Kim", Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

Yoon said the two sides would form "working-level negotiating teams" to discuss the specific date and location for the summit, as well as North Korea's denuclearization process. The statement did not provide further details.

"North Korea summit as soon as possible", South Korean press secretary Yoon Young-chan said in a statement. "It's good to see you again", Pompeo said as they shook hands and Pompeo placed his hand on Kim's shoulder and they both smiled.

While Seoul sounded upbeat, Pompeo struck a more cautious tone.

Another unexpected favourite had been Donald Trump, who at 7-1 is one of three frontrunners flagged by online bookies Betsson, with the odds suggesting the bombastic American president was 10 times more likely to win than figures like France's Emmanuel Macron or Russia's Vladimir Putin. 'It was another step forward.

"Then we are also going to set up the next summit", said Pompeo.

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But the mood appeared positive on Sunday.

Arriving in Seoul after several hours in Pyongyang on his fourth visit to North Korea, Pompeo tweeted that he had a "good trip" and that he and Kim "continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore summit". Progress made on Singapore Summit Agreements!

Since Trump and Kim agreed at the Singapore summit to work toward "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula and to establish a "new relationship", Pyongyang and Washington have wrangled over what these terms mean and how to achieve them.

Neither the USA nor the North Korean side released an immediate detailed readout on the content of Pompeo's talks with Kim.

Trump has praised Kim as an ally and even noted the two 'fell in love'.

The top U.S. diplomat added that there was also discussion between him and Kim about "corresponding measures" to be taken by the United States as a reward for North Korea's denuclearization measures.

Some experts questioned the significance of opening the Punggye-ri site for inspection.

Murad, who is 25 years old, was abducted with thousands of other women during the Islamic State's attack on the Yazidi minority of northern Iraq and raped repeatedly by Islamic State soldiers.

"We can't rule out the possibility that Washington. may move in the direction of partial easing of sanctions based on progress in denuclearisation", he said. North Korea has been playing hard ball since then, accusing the United States of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on denuclearization and insisting that sanctions be lifted before any progress in nuclear talks occurs. They have not returned to North Korea since they were expelled in 2009.

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