China rebukes U.S. during tense Pompeo visit

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

Pompeo also met with Politburo member Yang Jiechi.

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 United States, raising questions over how much the two sides really saw eye to eye.

"It's a long process", Pompeo told reporters.

One clear victor from the diplomatic back-and-forth in recent months is Kim: The North Korean leader derives enormous domestic benefit from being seen as a respected head of state meeting with a USA president and his top deputies, and not just the dictator of a rogue, isolated regime.

The top U.S. diplomat also said both sides were "pretty close" to agreement on the details of a second summit, which Kim proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter last month.

"China is committed to developing a good relationship with the US".

"There's a lot of logistics that will be required to execute that", Mr Pompeo told a news briefing in Seoul before leaving for Beijing.

From the moment Secretary of State Michael Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang Sunday, North Korean officials made clear who was in control and how little space the top USA diplomat would have setting the terms of the discussion that would follow.

Pompeo tweeted after the meeting, "Had a good trip to #Pyongyang to meet with Chairman Kim".

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"Most importantly, both the leaders believe there's real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit", Pompeo said.

Kim also invited inspectors to visit the Punggye Ri nuclear test site to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled, Nauert said. We continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore Summit.

Analysts say Washington may now consider new options as China, Russia and South Korea seek to relax sanctions. The North has rejected that and South Korea has suggested it may not be a necessary next step.

Another planned trip by Pompeo to Pyongyang was scrapped after what Trump said was insufficient progress towards implementing the terms of the Singapore declaration.

Pompeo, however, played down the differences.

"There is room for further reductions and I expect another one percentage point cut by the year-end", Xu added. Trump said it resulted in a "special bond" between the two leaders and he was optimistic about a denuclearized future. And so there'll be tactical places where we'll have debates and disagreements.

Despite Kim's talk of denuclearization during his first summit with Trump, he has yet to allow any outside inspectors into his country. It has not taken any steps to halt nuclear weapons or missile development.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent speeches claimed that China was meddling in November's midterm elections in an effort to damage Trump's administration because of his tough stand on trade.

Moon also said there was a possibility of Kim holding a summit with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

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