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Pompeo terms N Korea denuke trip as significant progress


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made “significant progress” toward an agreement for the North to give up its nuclear weapons. While significant work remains to be done, he said he expected further results after an as-yet unscheduled second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump, AP reports. “It’s a long process,” Pompeo told a small group of reporters in the South Korean capital of Seoul where he traveled after meeting with Kim in Pyongyang on Sunday. “We made significant progress. We’ll continue to make significant progress and we are further along in making that progress than any administration in an awfully long time,” AP quoted Pompeo as saying. He would not be specific but said he and Kim had agreed to shortly begin working-level talks on the nuts and bolts of denuclearization, on the placement of international 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. Trump, tweeting from Washington shortly after Pompeo left North Korea, cited progress Pompeo had made on agreements he and Kim came to at their June meeting in Singapore and said, “I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim again, in the near future.′

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.” “Most importantly, both the leaders believe there is real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit and so we are going to get it at a time that works for each of the two leaders and at a place that works for both of them,” he said. “We are not quite there yet. But we will get there.”

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