Pompeo to visit North Korea next month to plan second Trump-Kim summit

Pompeo to visit North Korea next month to plan second Trump-Kim summit
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIn Afghanistan, give peace a chance — and a lot of time The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia MORE accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit Pyongyang next month to plan a second summit with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump averages highest approval rating of his presidency in second quarter: Gallup GOP House campaign chair condemns 'send her back' chants: 'There's no place for that kind of talk' GOP lawmaker decries 'send her back' chants: 'This ugliness must end' MORE.

Pompeo accepted the invitation during his Wednesday meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

“Secretary Pompeo accepted Chairman Kim’s invitation to travel to Pyongyang next month to make further progress on the implementation of the commitments from the U.S.-DPRK Singapore summit, including the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, and to prepare for a second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name.

Wednesday’s meeting and Pompeo’s upcoming trip show U.S.-North Korean diplomacy picking back up after it appeared to be on life support last month.

In August, Trump canceled Pompeo’s planned trip to Pyongyang after receiving a letter from North Korea that convinced him the trip would not be worth it.

Last week, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in concluded their third summit, during which Kim promised to allow international observers watch the dismantlement of a missile test site.

Kim also said he would dismantle a nuclear complex -- if the United States takes unspecified corresponding steps.

After the inter-Korea summit, Pompeo said the results warranted a resumed U.S.-North Korean dialogue, and he invited Ri to meet at the U.N.

Trump, who met with Kim in Singapore in June, has said a second summit will take place in the “not too distant future.”

Speaking with CBS on Wednesday, Pompeo said the second summit “may” happen in October, but is “more likely sometime after that.”

“It takes a little while to put these together, and we want to make sure we’ve got the conditions just right so the two leaders can be successful,” Pompeo said.

Asked whether a peace declaration to end the Korean War -- a key North Korean demand -- could be signed at the next summit, Pompeo said it’s “hard to know.” 

“I don’t want to prejudge precisely where we’ll end up,” he said. “But make no mistake about it, there is real progress being made and we’re going to continue to work at it until the point in time where, as the President says – we could be wrong, it may not happen – but until such time as we conclude we can’t get this done, we’re going to continue to drive to achieve the – continue the progress which we’ve already made.”