Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit North Korea

Howard TerryOct 10, 2018

China's Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, criticised America for imposing tariffs on Chinese goods and for accusing Beijing of interfering in United States politics.

Pompeo arrived in China from North Korea and said he wanted to inform Yi about his meeting with the North Korean leader.

China and the USA have also been at odds over trade and Beijing's militarization of islands it claims as its own in the South China Sea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would "passionately welcome" Pope Francis, should the pontiff visit Pyongyang, Seoul's presidential office said Tuesday.

However, Pompeo declined to say whether there had been any movement on North Korea allowing inspectors to visit its Yongbyon site, which produces fuel for nuclear weapons, as the United States has sought.

The US should cease military contacts and halt further arms sales to Taiwan, and it should stop interfering with Chinese efforts to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan's diplomatic allies, he said.

Pompeo told reporters Kim had said he was ready to allow worldwide inspectors into North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility as soon as the two sides agreed on logistics.

The challenge for the US remains stark: American administrations for decades have been stymied by North Korean intransigence on its nuclear program, and the rapport between Trump and Kim hasn't resolved that issue.

Pompeo's trip to Asia began Saturday in Tokyo, where he met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim had "warmly welcomed" Pompeo in Pyongyang and "spoke highly of him". While significant work remains to be done, he said he expected further results after an as-yet unscheduled second summit between Kim and President Trump.

The invitation to the Pope is the first to a leader of the Catholic Church by a North Korean leader since 2000.

This week, he held talks with the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, where Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said he "explained in detail the proposals for solving the denuclearisation issue", although no details were provided.

While Trump is seeking a second meeting with Kim - possibly ahead of the November 6 voting - he's sending Pence in his place to regional summits planned for next month in Singapore and Papua New Guinea.

"I know that during your visit, you also want to exchange views with the Chinese side on regional hotspot issues including the situation in the Korean Peninsula", Wang said.

Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said the South Korean leader will then deliver the invitation when he meets the pope during a scheduled trip to Europe next week.

'I think eventually we're going to have lots of meetings on USA soil, and on their soil, by the way. that's a two-way street. "After having a nice meeting we can enjoy a meal together", Kim told Pompeo as they walked down a hallway toward a guesthouse dining room.

Moon said a second Trump-Kim summit could be accompanied by major diplomatic developments that could contribute to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and stabilizing peace.

"We will, in short order, be able to talk about when the president will get to meet with him at what will be the second summit".

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