Chill in the air as Pompeo meets Chinese counterparts in Beijing

Kim, Pompeo agree to 2nd US-North Korea summit 'at earliest date'

Pompeo told reporters Kim had said he was ready to allow worldwide inspectors into North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility as soon as the two sides agreed on logistics.

"The secretary directly addressed areas where the United States and China do not agree, including on the South China Sea and human rights", said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

In response, Pompeo said the two countries have a "fundamental disagreement".

Departing from Seoul, . he arrived in Beijing on Monday afternoon. "Brilliantly selling the same horse twice". He came away from it saying the two sides had made progress, only for North Korea to denounce him for making "gangster-like" demands and raising "cancerous" issues.

Since the denuclearisation effort got underway with a secret visit to the North by then-CIA chief Pompeo in April, there has been only limited progress, even since the 12 June Trump-Kim summit that many had hoped would jump-start the effort. However, his actions have fallen short of Washington's demands for a complete inventory of its weapons and facilities and irreversible steps to give up its arsenal.

Pompeo and Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted the schism after the chief U.S. diplomat arrived in Beijing on the final leg of an Asian trip focused on North Korea's nuclear issue.

Pompeo's trip was the latest turn in a diplomatic saga that saw Trump and Kim threaten each other with nuclear war previous year only to sign a vague agreement in June to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Chinese officials appealed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday to fix relations they said have been damaged by US tariff hikes and support for Taiwan, as their governments press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Wang appealed to Pompeo to cease actions that Beijing sees as threatening its interests in order to avoid disrupting cooperation over North Korea and other issues.

Pyongyang's failure to keep its pledge to allow worldwide inspections at Punggye-ri in May fanned criticism that the move could easily be reversed.

The secretary of state also confirmed that inspectors would also be invited to a separate missile test site at Tongchang-ri, but declined to comment on which organization might be allowed in to either site. The 38 North project said last week that no dismantling activity had been spotted since August 3. Trump hinted of more progress during a news conference in NY last month, and Pompeo said Monday that he would only discuss details the two sides had agreed to release.

"Did Mike Pompeo go all the way to Pyongyang for party planning purposes?"

Weakening support for US -led sanctions - from countries including Russian Federation and China, but also South Korea - has also led to a growing sense that Pompeo is spending more and more of his time just trying to keep existing restrictions in place. "Is this just to set up a yet another summit without a clear understanding of what that's going to generate?" It said on Monday Kim lauded his talks with Pompeo and "explained in detail the proposals for solving the denuclearization issue".

In an early Monday dispatch, KCNA called the talks "productive and wonderful" and said that "mutual stands were fully understood and opinions exchanged".

The two officials struck a softer tone but again highlighted recent frictions.

Before reporters were ushered from the room, Pompeo focused instead on what the two sides agreed on: the importance of denuclearizing of North Korea.

But it made no mention of inspections.

Given the delicate nature of talks with North Korea, it's possible that Pompeo and his hosts reached agreements not yet made public. Pompeo did not meet Kim on that trip.

Moon also said there was a possibility of Kim holding a summit with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Moon said Kim was expected to visit Russian Federation soon and that Chinese leader Xi Jinping was also expected to travel to North Korea, but did not elaborate.

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