U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to North Korea on October 7, earlier than expected, to meet with its leader Kim Jong Un, sparking expectation that Washington could take measures in October at the earliest, including the proposed end-of-war declaration, in return for r Pyongyang’s permanent scrapping of its nuclear facility in Yongbyon.
“As Secretary Pompeo’s North Korea visit has been advanced, there is a greater possibility that the U.S.-North Korea summit will take place before the U.S. mid-term elections on November 6,” said an official at South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. “We hope that Secretary Pompeo’s upcoming visit will rekindle (the U.S.-North Korea dialogue) so that they can end 70 years of animosity and distrust.” The official added that once the Washington-Pyongyang summit is held, it is possible that the leaders of the two countries will announce a common stance on the issue of the end-of-war declaration and progress in Pyongyang’s denuclearization. “An end-of-war declaration will likely be made at a point following that.”
The official hinted that Pompeo’s earlier-than-expected visit to Pyongyang could result in a U.S.-North Korea summit taking place in October, sooner than the previous expected timing of mid-November.
During the upcoming trip to Pyongyang, Pompeo will focus on discussing the North’s promise to permanently dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear facility and the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and the corresponding U.S. measures including an end-of-war declaration. The Cheong Wa Dae official noted that the date and venue for a second U.S.-North Korea summit will not come until the two sides confirm that they have narrowed differences over the denuclearization progress and the end-of-war declaration plan. The official added it is possible that detailed working-level talks following Pompeo’s trip will be held by negotiators in Vienna, Austria.
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