N. Korea to Allow Inspectors into Nuclear Sites
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is ready to allow international inspectors into nuclear and missile facilities, said Sec. of State Mike Pompeo after a visit to Pyongyang this weekend.
Pompeo “had a good meeting with Chairman Kim today in Pyongyang,” tweeted Trump on Sunday. “Progress made on Singapore Summit Agreements! I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim again, in the near future.”
According to Pompeo, inspectors will have access to the Punggye-ri nuclear site “as soon as we get it logistically worked out.” Punggye-ri was allegedly destroyed in March.
Pompeo also suggested Kim and Trump could meet again soon, as Kim had proposed last month.
“We are not quite there yet, but we will get there,” said Pompeo. “Most importantly both the leaders believe there is real progress that can be made…so we are going to get it at a time that works for each of the two leaders and at a place that works for both of them.”
Pompeo’s words are good news given the recent souring of relations between the US and North Korea following reports of renewed missile activity in August.
Later that month, Trump canceled a planned visit to the peninsula by Pompeo because no “sufficient progress” was being made towards the goal of denuclearization.
Kim’s attitude towards the US improved following a September meeting with South Korea President Moon Jae-in, who encouraged Kim to resume negations with the Trump Administration.
Kim made a commitment to allow inspectors into Punggye-ri when he met with Moon, but experts said it was crucial that he reiterate that commitment to Pompeo.
Kim also suggested he was ready to dismantle the nuclear site at Yongbyon, but only if the US took “corresponding steps” to improve trust.