Pompeo to travel to N. Korea Oct. 7, meet Kim

US Secretary of State Pompeo to meet North Korea's Kim Jong-un

The top USA diplomat said his planned visit to Pyongyang on Sunday will be "another chance to continue to advance the commitment" that President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made at their historic summit in Singapore in June.

A declaration to end the war should have come half a century ago, after the warring parties signed an armistice agreement, the Korean Central News Agency wrote in a commentary on Tuesday.

Cho told South Korean lawmakers on Monday that North Korea is estimated to have 20 to 60 nuclear weapons, in Seoul's first public comment about the size of the North's weapons arsenal.

Referring to a previous verification effort in 2008, Kang said that demanding an inventory of North Korea's nuclear assets risks, at this stage, derailing the process.

Following the initial announcement, Trump said the summit will happen "fairly quickly" and showed reporters a new missive he had received from Kim, describing it as an "extraordinary letter". -North Korea consensus on denuclearization is critical in meeting this commitment.

Ri Yong-ho, North Korea's foreign minister, said at the United Nations last week that "there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first".

Trump paints rapprochement with North Korea as a signature foreign policy achievement, although critics question whether Pyongyang has taken any firm action.

The top U.S. diplomat had announced last week that he was ready to return to North Korea after meeting the hardline communist state's foreign minister on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

On Pompeo's third visit in July, Kim stood him up and his regime issued a sharply critical statement.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who handles nuclear weapons issues and negotiations with the United States, arrived in Beijing on Thursday on a two-country trip that will also take her to Russian Federation.

Pompeo said the day of the Trump-Kim summit he was hopeful there would be major North Korean disarmament by the end of Trump's term in January 2021.

Pompeo's trip to China comes at a time of deteriorating relations and tit-for-tat tariffs sparked by Trump's accusations of unfair Chinese trade practices.

"Without any trust in the USA, there will be no confidence in our national security", Ri Yong Ho said, "and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first".

Refusing to say that talks with North Korea has been stalled, she said "the secretary and the president said we're not going to set arbitrary deadlines in the interim".

Since then, North Korea has suspended missile testing and has taken some steps to dismantle facilities associated with its nuclear program, but it has not halted weapons development.

"On the one hand, it's very desirable to have a kind of peace where we no longer have to worry about military force, we no longer have to worry about war and those kinds of things", he said.

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