>> Kim Jong Un's top negotiator is set for a second day of talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday. The pair are trying to solve disagreements on the North's nuclear weapons ahead of a potential historic meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump on June 12th in Singapore.
North Korean official Kim Yong Chol met Pompeo for a private dinner the evening before in an apartment on the city's East Side. The two left without detailing their conversation. However, a US official said the pair were trying to get to know each other after they've meet twice this year in North Korea.
As Reuters Josh Smith reports, they've got a lot of diplomacy to do ahead of the summit.>> The United States has been increasingly concerned over North Korea's commitment to actually giving up its weapons program. While North Korea has complained that the United States should stop insisting that North Korea unilaterally give up its program with nothing in return.
If it is able to secure some kind of easing of sanctions, this could be an area where both sides come to an agreement.>> In the lead up to the potential Trump-Kim summit, less than two weeks away, there's been a flurry of diplomacy. Just on Wednesday, that included teams of US officials meeting North Koreans already at the DMZ and in Singapore.
Others are maneuvering ahead of the meeting too. On Wednesday, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang and invited Kim to Moscow. Lavrov took the opportunity to push Russia's own vision of a denuclearized North Korea.>> Pyongyang, the Foreign Minister there, said that any kind of agreement over North Korea's nuclear program should involve phased agreements by both sides, including easing of sanctions by the international community.
Russia has for some time wanted to play some kind of mediator role between North Korea and the United States. However, most recently, it's been left out of the most recent talks and so this round of talks in Pyongyang likely was reassuring to Moscow.>> A US official on Wednesday said, if not enough progress is made towards the Singapore summit during these two days of talks, America will, quote, ramp up the pressure on North Korea.