President Donald Trump will likely have his second meeting with Kim Jong Un early next year to continue charting a way for the North Korean leader to give up his nuclear weapons in a verifiable way.
If it materialises, such a visit would be the first by a pope to North Korea.
The two Koreas agreed this week to begin reconnecting rail and road links, in spite of US concerns that a rapid thaw in relations could undermine efforts to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in emphasised Kim’s resolve to abandon nuclear and missile programmes, that the North pursued in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, and focus on the economy if regime security is guaranteed.
Donald Trump said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had very good talks with Kim over the weekend and that three or four locations were being considered.
Mike Pompeo 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.
Trump, tweeting from Washington, cited progress on agreements he made with Kim at their June meeting in Singapore and said, “I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim again, in the near future.”
Kim and Pompeo agreed to arrange a summit between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump “as soon as possible.”
Mike Pompeo said he also hoped to agree a “general date and location” for a second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim following their first meeting in June.
“In Tokyo, October 6-7, the Secretary will meet with Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono. In Pyongyang, October 7, the Secretary will meet with Chairman Kim Jong Un,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
“I was really being tough – and so was he. And we would go back and forth,” Donald Trump told a rally in West Virginia. “And then we fell in love, okay? No, really – he wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters,” he said.
“Chairman Kim has been really very open and terrific, frankly. I think he wants to see something happen,” Donald Trump said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he hoped the meeting could take place “before too long,” and that he hoped he himself would get a chance to travel to Pyongyang again to negotiate before that.
Moon said he and Kim spent most of a three-day summit discussing how to break an impasse and restart nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington, which are at odds over which should come first, denuclearisation or ending the war.
Moon is known for his love of mountain climbing and has trekked in the Himalayas at least twice.