Korea Hopeful About Pompeo's Pyongyang Visit

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un at their summit in Singapore

Modal Trigger REUTERS

"We make this trip to Pyongyang in the spirit of the October 4 Declaration", Cho told pool reporters before leaving for the North. Nauert indicated that the talk between both leaders will aim at Pyongyang's nuclear capability as one of the issues that will be discussed.

It isn't clear whether North Korea has made any substantial changes when it comes to denuclearization, but Trump and Pompeo have been telegraphing the possibility of a second summit for several weeks. The two are also likely to talk about the second Kim-Trump summit.

Pompeo was invited to North Korea last week, when he met DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in NY.

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

At the same time, she dismissed fears of those who think that a formal end to the war will open the door to USA disengagement from South Korea, where it bases around 30,000 troops.

On Friday, they will take part in the first-ever joint event to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the 2007 summit held in Pyongyang between then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

But North Korea has yet to take concrete steps to give up its nuclear arsenal, so there's been no let-up in sanctions that have been imposed to deprive it of fuel and revenue for its weapons programs, and to block it from bulk cash transfers and accessing to the worldwide banking system.

Trump has nevertheless hailed progress and on Saturday took his enthusiasm for his detente with Kim to new heights by declaring at a rally with supporters that "we fell in love" after exchanging letters.

FireEye says APT38, the name it gives to the hacking group dedicated to bank theft, has emerged and stepped up its operations since February 2014 as the economic vise on North Korea has tightened in response to its nuclear and missile tests.

Pompeo brushed aside suggestions of differences between himself and Trump over a timeline for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Earlier that day, North Korea's Ri struck a different tone, telling the United Nations that continued USA sanctions were deepening Pyongyang's mistrust in the United States and there was no way the country would disarm unilaterally under such circumstances. This falls in line with estimates made by various other nations, including the United States, but the South Koreans have been reluctant to comment on the size of the North's nuclear arsenal. "That that can only help us to achieve our final goal".

"I'm optimistic that we'll come away from that with better understandings, deeper progress and a plan forward, not only for the summit between the two leaders but for us to continue the efforts to build out a pathway for denuclearization", he said.

She said that in the meantime, sanctions would remain in place.

At a campaign rally on Saturday, Trump said he and Kim "fell in love", adding "he wrote me handsome letters".

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