China tells Trump administration to stop its ‘misguided’ actions and allegations
08 October, 2018, 16:55 | Author: Ted Wilson
Mike Pompeo, the USA secretary of state, made the announcement after a Sunday meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Pompeo, who met Kim during a short trip to Pyongyang on Sunday, said the inspectors would visit a missile engine test facility and the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site as soon as the two sides agree on logistics.
Speaking to reporters in South Korea's capital, Seoul, on Monday, Pompeo said "significant progress" was made towards the "long process" of denuclearisation during a meeting with Kim on Sunday in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.
Pompeo said he and Kim had gotten "pretty close" to fixing the logistics for the summit but stressed that "sometimes that last inch is hard to close".
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.
After a previous visit to Pyongyang in July, Pompeo had said the two foes made progress on key issues - but within hours of his departure the North condemned "gangster-like" demands from the USA, raising questions over how much the two sides really saw eye to eye. 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.
China's foreign minister argued the U.S.is responsible for escalating trade conflicts.
Pompeo declined to comment whether there was progress on a shutdown of the Yongbyon site.
He wouldn't be specific but said he and Kim had agreed to soon begin working-level talks on the nuts and bolts of denuclearization and on the placement of global inspectors at one of North Korea's main nuclear facilities, and had come close to finalizing a date and venue for the next Kim-Trump summit.
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Pompeo identified Punggye-ri as one of the testing sites mentioned in their conversations.
Despite public criticism from analysts that the US has obtained little on the disarmament front, Trump and his team point to a lack of nuclear and missile tests since late a year ago as signs that their strategy is working.
Pompeo and Kim "refined options for the location and date" of their next summit, and they agreed to instruct their respective working-level teams to meet soon to intensify discussions on the key remaining issues, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. The statement did not provide further details.
During the last three days of his Asia trip, Pompeo met with top leaders from all three nations in Japan, South and North Korea.
"Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction over the productive and wonderful talks with Mike Pompeo at which mutual stands were fully understood and opinions exchanged", North Korean news agency KCNA said.
The North's state media say Kim also believes the dialogue between the two countries would move forward, "based on the deep confidence" between himself and Trump.
But it did not mention any inspection-related issue. He said Chinese leader Xi Jinping was also expected to travel to North Korea but did not elaborate further.
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.
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