Pompeo: North Korea Ready to Allow Inspection of Nuclear Facility

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo poses with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an undated photo released May 9, 2018. (KCNA/via Reuters)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that North Korea is prepared to allow international inspectors into one of the nuclear sites the country claims to have demolished.

Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Sunday and said he is now willing to let the international community see the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site. Pyongyang originally did not follow through in May on letting inspectors see the site as it was being destroyed.

“As soon as we get it logistically worked out. Chairman Kim said he’s ready to allow them to come in. There’s a lot of logistics that will be required to execute that,” the secretary of state said.

President Trump’s June 12 summit with Kim produced a commitment to clear the peninsula of nuclear weapons, but lacked a specific timeline or details. Since then the dictatorship has not rushed to follow through on denuclearization.

Trump cancelled an August meeting between Kim and Pompeo, saying North Korea had not done enough to show the U.S. it was serious about denuclearization.

“We are not quite there yet. But we will get there,” Pompeo said about a second summit between the two heads of state, saying it was “pretty close.”

The North has nevertheless made several shows of cooperation, including eliminating intercontinental ballistic missiles from this year’s military parade.

“It’s a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries,” Kim said of the secretary of state’s latest visit.

“We had a good, productive conversation,” Pompeo said at a press conference next to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “As President Trump said, there are many steps along the way, and we took one of them today. It was another step forward. So this is, I think, a good outcome for all of us.”

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