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As the third summit meeting between North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in drew to a close Thursday, officials from the Trump administration signaled the United States is ready to resume discussions about eliminating North Korea’s nuclear program.
As Reuters tells it, the U.S. is eager to follow up on vague but encouraging comments Kim made during his meetings with Moon and prod the North Koreans to take a few concrete, verifiable steps in the right direction:
US - Secretary - State - Mike - Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had invited North Korea’s foreign minister to meet in New York next week, with the aim of completing its denuclearization by January 2021, after a Pyongyang summit between the leaders of the two Koreas.
The United States appeared eager to seize on commitments by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at his talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in even as critics said the steps did little to put Pyongyang on a course for irreversible denuclearization.
North - Korea - Experts - Countries - Closure
North Korea will allow experts from “concerned countries” to watch the closure of its missile engine testing site and launch pad at Tongchang-ri, Moon said at a joint news conference with Kim after their meeting in the North Korean capital.
North Korea will also take additional steps such as closing its main Yongbyon nuclear complex if the United States undertook unspecified reciprocal measures, Moon added.
Pompeo - Meeting - Number - Foreign - Minister
Pompeo is reportedly hoping for a meeting with his opposite number, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, at the U.N. General Assembly next week. He also wants North Korea to meet with U.S. special representative Stephen Biegun in Vienna.
The concerns from U.S. officials are easily understood: North Korea has not done anything irreversible to denuclearize yet, it has a proven track record of reneging on vague promises, and its immediate objective is to woo South Korea...
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