Mike Pompeo’s visit to China kicks off with frosty exchange

NK leader expresses belief in 'good program' for 2nd summit with Trump

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says North Korea is ready to allow worldwide inspectors to visit its nuclear and missile test sites.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) meets with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 8, 2018.

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.

DPRK is the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The trip was the latest turn in a diplomatic saga that saw Trump and Kim threaten each other with nuclear war a year ago only for them to hold their historic summit in Singapore.

The meeting was apparently productive, and they even discussed another summit between Kim and President Trump, Reuters reported.

"The issues that you characterised, we have a fundamental disagreement", Mr Pompeo responded. Trump said it resulted in a "special bond" between the two leaders and he was optimistic about a denuclearized future.

"Yeah, so we had a great, great visit this morning", Pompeo replied.

In Tokyo on Saturday, Mr Pompeo promised he would bring up Japan's concerns about North Korea's alleged abductions of Japanese citizens and its nuclear ambitions.

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North Korea's state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, featured eight photos of the meeting on its front page, including shots of Kim and Pompeo smiling and shaking hands, as well as some with Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong.

A senior U.S. State Department official said the United States still expected cooperation with Beijing on efforts to denuclearise North Korea, whose chief ally is China.

In recent weeks, USA officials have pointed to a recent meeting in Pyongyang between Kim and Moon, when North Korea committed to dismantling a missile-engine-testing site and raised the possibility of doing the same at its Yongbyon nuclear-enrichment facility.

Pompeo also said the two sides are "pretty close" to finalizing a second meeting between U.S. President Trump and the North's Supreme Leader.

Pompeo also discussed additional denuclearization steps that the reclusive regime can take, as well as Washington's monitoring of the verification process and "corresponding measures", according to the presidential office.

The inspectors will visit a missile engine test facility and the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site as soon as the logistics are worked out, Pompeo said.

Washington and Pyongyang have sparred over the exact terms of the vaguely-worded agreement in Singapore, with the U.S. pushing to maintain sanctions and pressure against the North until its "final, fully verified denuclearisation".

Kim Song Hye, who had accompanied top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol on his June White House visit, described Trump as "generous" and "a leader" during staff-level discussions in Pyongyang.

During Mr Pompeo's last visit to Pyongyang in July, he was denounced for making "gangster-like demands".

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