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North Korea seeks Pope Francis visit

10 October 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican next week, where he will deliver the message from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he is welcome in Pyongyang, presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-keum said Tuesday.

Kim held an unprecedented summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, and pledged to work toward denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Kim also brought up the interactions between the North Korean leader and Roman Catholic Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong at Mt. Paektu last month, who was invited to join the South Korean delegation alongside President Moon. We'd love to remove them, but we have to get something for doing it'.

"I will surely tell you in private about our conversation".

Pompeo's retort came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused the US on Monday of escalating trade disputes, interfering on Taiwan and meddling in the country's domestic affairs.

Kim Jong-un and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had lunch and discussed future relations between the two countries.

This version of the story corrects 4th paragraph to make clear that Washington has been seeking inspection of Yongbyon.

The secretary of state is on the final leg of a whistle-stop tour around Asia that, in Tokyo, Seoul and Pyongyang, focused on North Korea's nuclear program.

In Seoul, Pompeo said he and Kim had agreed to soon begin working-level talks on details of denuclearisation and placement of global inspectors at one of North Korea's main nuclear facilities.

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"I like him, he likes me, the relationship is good", Trump said of Kim.

She added Trump "looks forward to continuing to build upon the trust established with Chairman Kim in Singapore".

North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA, meanwhile, said Monday that Kim had "expressed his will and conviction that a great progress would surely be made in solving the issues of utmost concern of the world".

A report in 2014 by the United Nations Human Rights Council concluded that hundreds of South Koreans, Japanese and other foreign nationals were kidnapped by North Korea after the end of the Korean War in 1953. Pope John Paul II did receive an invite from Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il, in 2000.

Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang, his fourth this year, followed a stalemate as North Korea resisted Washington's demands for irreversible steps to give up its nuclear arsenal, including a complete inventory of its weapons and facilities.

Trump said that in terms of timing, the summit "won't be too far away", later telling reporters it would take place after the November 6 midterm elections.

Ahead of the historic Singapore summit between the United States and North Korean leaders, the Pope prayed that the meeting would lead to "a future of peace for the Korean Peninsula and the whole world." .

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.

North Korea seeks Pope Francis visit