North Korea is ready to allow international inspectors into its nuclear and missile sites. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, revealed that breakthrough on Monday. He'd held talks with Kim Jong-un over the weekend. Inspectors are one of the key sticking points in Kim's earlier pledge to shed his nuclear weapons.
Talks with the US had stalled out ahead of Pompeo's visit. But this latest move seems to mark a change in step for the North, says Reuters Joyce Lee in Seoul.>> Pompeo's statements certainly indicate some sort of turnaround. Pompeo said that North Korea and the US are pretty close to an agreement on logistics for the second summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.
And he said personally that they will allow international inspectors to view nuclear sites.>> One is a missile engine test facility. The other is the Punggye-ri nuclear site that Pyongyang said was destroyed in May. They would only invite a journalist to witness its destruction.
Also on Monday state media said Kim called Pompeo's visit productive and wonderful. That's a shift in tone from North Korean headlines after previous talks, where they accused Pompeo of making gangster-like demands. The North State media said Kim also believes dialogue between the two countries would move forward based on the deep confidence between himself and Trump.
But South Korea signaled Kim might be looking elsewhere to keeping up a flory of diplomacy this year. President Moon Jae-in said Kim is also expected to be visiting Russia and hosting Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Pyongyang.>> There is concern in some that the North Korean issue will be subsumed by the greater geopolitical maneuvers going on between the US, China and Russia.
The shaking relationships between these three countries could be used by Kim Jong-Un for leverage to get what he wants.>> A US official who was part of Pompeo's delegation said the trip was better than last time but acknowledged it's going to be a long haul