>> The US may be backing off its all-or-nothing stance on North Korea before Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, heads to Pyongyang this week. He's hoping to hammer out a roadmap of steps towards nuclear disarmament in the North. Officials have been trying to work out an agreement on denuclearization since last month when Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump met in Singapore.
However, US officials tell Reuters that behind the scenes there's been no signs of a breakthrough and instead, the Trump White House seems to be taking a softer approach backing away from strict demands over the North's nuclear weapons. Reuters Chun Hee Shin explains why.>> Before and after the summit, the United States said they are sticking to the principle of CVID or conflict verifiable and irreversible the nuclearization.
The Trump administration is a parallel thinking, if they keep that posture, it'd be very difficult to move forward on denuclearization and also to maintain cooperation of China and Russia. And behind all this there's thus creates influence. Seoul has been saying that a step-by-step approach is more realistic and last month one senior South Korean official traveled to Washington and told them they could use the term mutual threat reduction which rather implies two way disarmament.
>> Sources say even as the White House is pulling its punches, how far the North's willing to go on disarmament remains a mystery.>> In terms of verification, the South Korean diplomat also told the US officials that it would be nearly impossible to inspect North Korean nuclear facilities in a conventional way because that means hundreds of international inspectors will be here and there around the country.
And that's going to be unacceptable to North Korea. So it could be helpful to use vague language to open up space for agreement which is apparently what they're doing right now.>> Upping the stakes for Pompeo's visit Friday, there have been signs from satellite images that North Korea is still operating a missile plant and has recently upgraded a major nuclear facility.