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Seoul says Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit N. Korea

09 October 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday cited "fundamental disagreement" with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) during a testy exchange in Beijing that highlighted rising tensions between the world's two largest economies.

He also emphasized the possibility of future meetings between North Korea, Japan, China and Russian Federation.

He also accused the USA of making "a series of moves" on Taiwan and "other issues" that he said hurt Chinese sovereignty. Trump hinted of more progress during a news conference in NY last month, and Pompeo said Monday that he would only discuss details the two sides had agreed to release. Kim's regime has said it wants to focus on more than just its nuclear program, and that it expects the show some flexibility with its demands.

The United States has also angered China with arms sales to Taiwan and new rules allowing top-level USA officials to travel to the island, though Washington still recognises Beijing over Taipei.

Kim Yong Chol also made clear that Pompeo's preferred translator wouldn't be allowed, and his bodyguard would have to leave his weapon behind, according to a pool reporter traveling with Pompeo.

The KCNA said that Kim explained in detail the "proposals" meant to resolve the denuclearization issue and other matters, adding that the leader and Pompeo also exchanged "constructive" views on relevant matters.

In late 2015, top North Korea official Kim Yang Gon reportedly died in a auto accident.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is himself scheduled to meet the pontiff during his trip to Europe next week.

North Korean state media KCNA said: "Kim Jong-un expressed satisfaction over the productive and wonderful talks with Mike Pompeo at which mutual stands were fully understood and opinions exchanged".

Nuclear diplomacy later stalled because of suspicions over how honest North Korea is about its disarmament pledge.

After meeting with Kim in Pyongyang on Sunday, Pompeo told journalists in Seoul that the leader had agreed to open up the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site to inspectors, according to a pool report.

During the last three days of his Asia trip, Pompeo met with top leaders from all three nations in Japan, South and North Korea. "But if you look at the approach, we are in lockstep with each of those two countries in terms of how we approach achieving the results that everyone is aimed at".

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. He will meet the Pope and intends to relay the invitation. US officials have thus far said the penalties will remain in place until the North's denuclearization is fully verified. "Joint Communiques, stop official and military contact with Taiwan, revoke arms sales to Taiwan, stop unreasonable intervention in countries that have established or are hoping to establish relations with China, restrain "Taiwan independence" forces, so as to maintain China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait through practical actions", he said.

Seoul says Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit N. Korea