United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to give international inspectors access to the country’s nuclear and missile testing sites, reported Reuters. The inspectors will visit a missile engine test facility and the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site as soon as the logistics are worked out, Pompeo said.
“There’s a lot of logistics that will be required to execute that,” he said at a press conference in South Korea’ Seoul. On Sunday, Pompeo met Kim during a trip to Pyongyang, his fourth visit to the country this year.
“Chairman Kim invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled,” the US State Department said in a statement on Sunday.
In May, North Korea said it had dismantled its nuclear bomb test site in Punggye-ri as a goodwill gesture before a meeting with US President Donald Trump. During his meeting with Trump in Singapore, Kim promised to work towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula. Both leaders had signed a joint statement in which the US agreed to establish diplomatic relations.
Both countries were “pretty close” to agreeing on the details of a second summit, which Kim proposed to Trump in a letter last month, said Pompeo. “Most importantly, both the leaders believe there’s real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kim on Monday expressed satisfaction over his discussions with Pompeo, Reuters quoted state news agency KCNA as saying. “Kim Jong-un expressed satisfaction over the productive and wonderful talks with Mike Pompeo at which mutual stands were fully understood and opinions exchanged,” it said. The North Korean leader added that the bilateral dialogue will continue to develop “based on the deep confidence between the two leaders”.
Pompeo told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that his latest trip to North Korea was “another step forward” to denuclearisation but there are “many steps along the way”. At last month’s summit, Moon and Kim signed a joint declaration and agreed to make the Korean peninsula a “region without nuclear weapons”.