Pompeo, Kim hold "productive" dialogue on Singapore statement, test site: State Department

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The top U.S. diplomat also said both sides were "pretty close" to agreement on the details of a second summit, which Kim proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter last month.

The South Koreans said the USA and North Korea discussed establishing formal negotiating groups to set a "denuclearization process" and work out a time and location for a follow-up meeting to the first Trump-Kim summit in June.

Trump commented quickly on Twitter that Pompeo and Kim "had a good meeting" where they discussed agreements reached during the first summit, in Singapore.

Pompeo said on Sunday his latest, fourth trip to Pyongyang was "another step forward" to denuclearization and that he had a "good, productive conversation" with Kim, striking a cautious note by saying more needed to be done. "I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim again, in the near future".

Pompeo said it was important to hear from the Japanese leader "so we have a fully coordinated and unified view".

In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Kim had invited inspectors to visit the Punggye-ri nuclear test site to confirm it has been irreversibly dismantled.

Pompeo and Kim met privately in Pyongyang for two hours and then at a 90-minute luncheon hosted by the North Korean leader.

Foreign policy analysts have questioned whether Kim is living up to that commitment, but Trump has defended the North Korean dictator.

The U.S. and Japan have pushed for the North to compile and turn over a detailed list of its nuclear sites to be dismantled as a next step in the process; the North has rejected that.

Pompeo was joined by USA special representative on DPRK issues Stephen Biegun, and Kim was joined by Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea (WPK), the statement said.

The North has committed to taking additional denuclearization steps, such as shutting down its long-range missile engine test site and launching pad in Dongchang-ri on the west coast in the presence of global inspectors and closing its main Yongbyon nuclear complex should the USA take "corresponding measures".

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"It's a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries", Kim said, speaking through an interpreter, as he sat down at the lunch table with Pompeo.

Pompeo replied: "So we had a great, great visit this morning".

In Tokyo on Saturday, Pompeo promised he would bring up Japan's concerns about North Korea's alleged abductions of Japanese citizens and its nuclear ambitions. Pompeo will continue traveling to Beijing and then return to Washington on Monday. But there is growing doubt about whether President Donald Trump's diplomatic push can succeed if the two sides still don't have an understanding of what the other is trying to achieve - or how.

"Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction over the productive and wonderful talks with Mike Pompeo at which mutual stands were fully understood and opinions exchanged", North Korean news agency KCNA said.

Last month the North's foreign minister told the United Nations there was "no way" his country would disarm first as long as tough U.S. sanctions remain against his country. Pompeo had hoped to do that in August, when he appointed Biegun and announced they would travel to the country.

Since the effort got underway with a secret visit to the North by then-CIA chief Pompeo in April, there has been only limited progress.

The North also has accused Washington of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on denuclearisation and insisted that sanctions should be lifted before any progress in nuclear talks.

Kim Song Hye, who had accompanied top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol on his June White House visit, described Trump as "generous" and "a leader" during staff-level discussions in Pyongyang.

Despite public criticism from analysts that the USA has obtained little on the disarmament front, Trump and his team point to a lack of nuclear and missile tests since late a year ago as signs that their strategy is working.

Trump mentioned a second meeting while he was attending high-level meetings at the United Nations last month.

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