Mike Pompeo to meet Kim Jong Un on October 7

Mike Pompeo to meet Kim Jong Un on October 7

Kerry Wise
October 6, 2018

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has backed away from a previously stated goal of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons by the end of Donald Trump's first term in January 2021.

National Foundation Day, also known as gaecheonjeol, is celebrated on October 3 in both the South and North to mark the establishment of the first Korean kingdom, Gojoseon, in 2333 B.C. The holiday is considered the founding date of the Korean race.

Kim and Trump met in June in Singapore in the first-ever summit between the two countries that have never signed a peace treaty to formally end their 1950-53 war.

"I think it shows forward progress and momentum that the secretary is making his fourth trip in less than a year", State Department spokesman Heather Nauert told reporters.

He also reiterated that United Nations sanctions on North Korea should "continue to remain in place" until it denuclearises.

On the sidelines, Minister Cho, who is in charge of inter-Korean affairs, is expected to meet with his North Korean counterpart, Ri Son-gwon, to discuss follow-up measures to the agreement their leaders reached in their September summit in Pyongyang.

It said in a commentary on Thursday "sanctions must be dealt with by the United States which wants progress between North Korea-U.S. talks and denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula".

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.

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The DPRK on Saturday demanded the United States take steps to secure Pyongyang's trust before its denuclearization.

"And then we fell in love", he said at a rally in West Virginia Saturday.

After the talks in Pyongyang, Pompeo will head later Sunday to Seoul, where he will meet President Moon Jae-in, a dove who has helped spearhead the reconciliation efforts with North Korea.

On domestic affairs, Kim said her party would mainly work on issues related to employment, real estate and small businesses.

North Korea refers to itself as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK.

Both Pompeo and Trump spoke about a second North Korean summit in positive terms last week in NY, while attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Pompeo's trip to China comes at a time of deteriorating relations and tit-for-tat tariffs sparked by Trump's accusations of unfair Chinese trade practices.

"On the one hand, it's very desirable to have a kind of peace where we no longer have to worry about military force, we no longer have to worry about war and those kinds of things", he said.