Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday he made “real progress” in his latest meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and said he believes the two countries are back on a path toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
"I returned late last night from North Korea from a trip where we made real progress," Pompeo told reporters at the White House. "And while there's still a long way to go and much work to do, we can now see a path to where we'll achieve the ultimate goal, which is the full and final verified denuclearization of North Korea."
Pompeo had lunch with President Trump Tuesday following a swing through Pyongyang and the capitals of the other countries with the most to gain or lose in the North Korea talks — Japan, South Korea, and China. The trip didn’t produce a high-profile breakthrough of the sort South Korea had called for, but Pompeo maintained that he was pleased nonetheless.
“I want to thank Chairman Kim for the time that I got to spend with him where we got to talk about all the range of issues that are in front of our two countries that will let us get there, and he appreciated the president having sent me,” the top U.S. diplomat said.
"We will in short order be able to talk about when the president will get a chance to meet with him at what will be the second summit," he added.
Pompeo’s trip was intended in part to set the table for a second summit between Trump and Kim, who held an historic summit in Singapore on June 12.
“I think eventually we’re going to have lots of meetings on U.S. soil and on their soil, by the way,” Trump said earlier Tuesday. ”That’s a two-way street — on their soil, also.”
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