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Kim Jong Un Invites Pope Francis to North Korea

10 October 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit in an effort to underscore peace efforts being done on the Korean peninsula, South Korea's presidential office said on Tuesday.

Even so, Pompeo said both sides were "pretty close" to agreement on the details of a second summit, which Kim proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter last month.

The South Korean president hopes the summit will allow a new order to be created throughout the Korean peninsula, eventually leading into Northeast Asia.

The challenge for the USA remains stark: American administrations for decades have been stymied by North Korean intransigence on its nuclear program, and the rapport between Trump and Kim hasn't resolved that issue. But that wasn't an advance on comments Trump made last month in NY, when he said he wanted to meet Kim "very soon".

Last month, the North's foreign minister told the United Nations there was "no way" his country would disarm first as long as tough U.S. sanctions remain against his country.

KCNA said "there was an agreement on the issue of holding the working negotiation for the second DPRK-U.S. summit talks as early as possible, and relevant procedure-related issues and ways were also discussed".

While Kim's actions since have fallen short of Washington's demands, the Trump administration is preparing for a second summit.

From the moment Secretary of State Michael Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang Sunday, North Korean officials made clear who was in control and how little space the top USA diplomat would have setting the terms of the discussion that would follow.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Kim had invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to confirm it had been irreversibly dismantled.

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Ms Murkowski of Alaska , a state that also voted pro-Trump in 2016, has been undecided on Judge Kavanaugh throughout the hearings. Despite the letter, the Senate voted 51-49 to move forward with Kavanaugh on Friday to a final vote on his confirmation.

Though the Vatican confirmed their receipt at the time of an official invitation delivered on behalf of Kim Jong Il by the South Korean ambassador in Rome, the Pope did not in the end travel to North Korea.

Those disagreements - a burgeoning trade war, China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and USA policy toward Taiwan - are unlikely to be resolved any time soon.

"But with respect to our relationship with the Republic of Korea and Japan on this issue, I have found that we are in lockstep on the most important issues and how to approach them", Pompeo said.

Pompeo said it is important for the two allies to have a "fully coordinated, unified view of how to proceed, which will be what is needed if we are going to be successful on denuclearizing North Korea".

"The issues that you characterized, we have a fundamental disagreement", Pompeo said.

After spending about five hours in Beijing, Pompeo headed for the airport to return to Washington. "But it is wholly in keeping with North Korea's desire to maintain the upper hand in the global public narrative, shaping a discourse where it is the driver of peace".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during joint news conference in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018.

On a more positive note, Wang said China was still willing to solve the trade dispute with the United States through negotiations, "but they must be conducted on an equal, honest and serious basis".

Kim Jong Un Invites Pope Francis to North Korea