Thursday, 13 December, 2018

China tells U.S. to stop criticism, says relations suffering

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussed denuclearisation steps to be taken by the North NK leader expresses belief in 'good program' for 2nd summit with Trump
Kenny Thornton | 08 October, 2018, 16:55

The KCNA said that Kim also expressed "will" and "conviction" to make progress on issues of mutual concern, apparently indicating the denuclearization talks that have nearly been stalled since the June summit in Singapore.

"Most importantly, both the leaders believe there's real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit", Pompeo said.

Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, said trade disputes, challenges to Chinese sovereignty and criticism of Beijing's domestic and foreign policy had harmed relations.

Pompeo and Kim made "significant progress" in "a long process" to denuclearize North Korea and "will continue to make significant progress and we are further along in making that progress than any administration in an awfully long time", he said.

Mr Pompeo described his fourth trip to the North Korean capital as "another step forward to denuclearisation".

At last month's inter-Korean summit, the North expressed its willingness to close the Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington takes corresponding action, which Moon said would include a declaration of an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

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

North Korea is ready to allow worldwide inspectors into its nuclear and missile sites.

North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, located inside a mountain near the border with China, has been the site of all six of the country's nuclear tests.

Japan Withdraws from Naval Event After South Korea Protests Rising Sun Flag
Tokyo has dismissed the request, arguing that it is mandatory to fly the "rising sun" flag under Japanese law. The rocks are occupied by South Korea but are also claimed by Japan, which calls them Takeshima.

In July, satellite imagery indicated the North has begun dismantling the engine test site in Tongchang-ri, but without allowing outsiders access for verification.

Pompeo did not have a scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a fact that a senior U.S. State Department official on the trip said was not unusual, even though top U.S. officials often meet Chinese heads of state on visits.

In a more upbeat note, Pyongyang's state media said on Monday Kim lauded his talks with Pompeo, where Kim "explained in detail the proposals for solving the denuclearisation issue".

Trump met Kim in Singapore in June for the first-ever summit between the two countries, resulting in what critics say was only a vague commitment by Kim towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

But it did not mention any inspection-related issue.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before a meeting in Beijing on Monday.

During the meeting in Beijing, Wang said China and the USA should strengthen cooperation on North Korea.

The Secretary of State added that South Korea has been an integral part of negotiations aimed at denuclearising North Korea, and he passed along Mr Trump's gratitude for the country's efforts.

In Tokyo, Pompeo told Abe that the USA wanted to work closely on nuclear talks and that he would raise with the North Koreans the issue of Japanese abductees held for decades by the regime.

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