Next Trump-Kim summit 'pretty close,' Mike Pompeo says

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands during their historic summit in Singapore back in June

SUSAN WALSH APKim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands during their historic summit in Singapore back in June

China has ramped up its rhetoric against the United States, demanding Washington stop its "misguided actions" as tensions over trade prevail between the two nations.

KCNA did not mention that issue.

Speaking at the conservative Hudson Institute, Pence accused China of using trade, diplomatic overtures and military expansion to spread its influence, and he called on American business leaders, academic scholars and journalists to counter Beijing's campaign.

"We demand the United States stop the unwarranted accusations and wrongdoings against China immediately", the top Chinese diplomat said, adding that the two countries should pursue cooperation "and not descend into conflict and confrontation".

In the same piece, Chen Dingding of Jinan University in Guangzhou said China had developed under its own steam to become the economic giant it is today. "This demonstrates that as two major powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the United States should strengthen communication and cooperation, so as to live up to their responsibilities entrusted by the global community".

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In South Korea, Pompeo appeared alongside President Moon Jae-in, who said the world wanted to know the results of the Pyongyang meeting, "so if the secretary can disclose the results, please tell us".

Pompeo's Asian tour also took him to Japan and South Korea, where he said on Monday in Seoul that there had been "significant progress" towards an agreement for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. "We will be having more frequent and higher level working level group discussions than we have had in some time".

Pompeo replied that it was "important that we listen to each other, work through and find constructive solutions so we can find a good outcome for both our countries".

Moon said a second Trump-Kim summit could be accompanied by major diplomatic developments that could contribute to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and stabilizing peace.

Stephen Biegun, new USA nuclear envoy who was accompanying the secretary, said he offered on Sunday to meet his counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, "as soon as possible" and they were in discussion over specific dates and location.

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Pompeo has refused to discuss details of negotiations, including a United States position on North Korea's demand for a formal end to the Korean War and a proposal from Seoul for such a declaration to be accompanied by a shutdown of the North's main known nuclear facility. But that wasn't an advance on comments Trump made last month in NY, when he said he wanted to meet Kim "very soon".

Pompeo said this could happen "as soon as we get it logistically worked out", adding: "Chairman Kim said he's ready to allow them to come in".

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.

Trump canceled Pompeo's planned trip to Pyongyang in August, citing little evidence that North Korea had followed through on any of its commitments to denuclearize.

"You have to question why North Korea is pushing so hard for that end-of-war declaration", he added.

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