North Korea ready to allow inspectors into missile sites, Pompeo says

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North Korea on Monday said it was ready to allow an worldwide group of inspectors into the country's clandestine nuclear and missile sites, a move that could be seen as more evidence in Washington and Pyongyang's thawing relationship.

The top U.S. diplomat met with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang for two hours before Pompeo flew to South Korea on Sunday afternoon for a two-day visit.

Following the visit to North Korea - his fourth - Pompeo said Kim had also agreed to arrange a second summit with Trump to take place "at the earliest date possible". Trump cancelled Pompeo's planned trip to Pyongyang in August, citing little evidence that North Korea had followed through on any of its commitments to denuclearize.

On a more positive note, Wang said China was still willing to solve the trade dispute with the United States through negotiations, "but they must be conducted on an equal, honest and serious basis".

Pompeo responded by saying that Washington and Beijing were stuck in a "fundamental disagreement" that he hoped they could make some progress on resolving.

Specifically, Pompeo revealed that North Korea agreed to allow global inspectors to survey their nuclear and missile testing sites.

But Pyongyang failed to keep its pledge to allow global inspections of its demolition of the Punggye-ri site in May, fanning criticism that the move could be reversed.

One is a missile engine test facility.

"Chairman Kim invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled", the US State Department said in a statement on Sunday. The statement did not provide further details.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris upon his arrival at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, in South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, after his North Korea trip.

Pompeo also met China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi, a Politburo member who heads the ruling Communist Party's foreign affairs commission, though remarks before reporters took a more conventional tone, even as both agreed relations faced many challenges.

State media on Monday (October 8) say Kim called Pompeo's visit "productive and wonderful".

Kim said the bilateral dialogue would continue to develop "based on the deep confidence between the two leaders", and expressed gratitude to Trump for making a honest effort to implement the agreement made at their June summit, KCNA said.

But it did not mention any inspection-related issue.

Following his arrival in Seoul from Pyongyang on Sunday, Pompeo said at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he had "a good productive conversation" with Kim, in talks which represented "another step forward". Kim's regime has said it wants to focus on more than just its nuclear program, and that it expects the U.S.to show some flexibility with its demands.

Wang appealed to Pompeo to cease actions that Beijing sees as threatening its interests in order to avoid disrupting co-operation over North Korea and other issues.

The North has accused Washington of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on denuclearization and has insisted that sanctions should be lifted before any progress in nuclear talks.

After Seoul, Pompeo ends his trip Monday in China, North Korea's political and economic lifeline.

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