Kim Jong Un has agreed to hold a second summit with US President Donald Trump as soon as possible, Seoul said Sunday, after Washington's top diplomat held "productive" talks on denuclearisation with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang.
Mike Pompeo arrived in China to brief Beijing on his latest talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, but public remarks laid bare the rising tensions between the two countries. It came amid expectations that his meeting with leader Kim could provide momentum to get the denuclearization process going again after a monthslong stalemate over how to rid the North of its nuclear weapons program.
Earlier this year, the U.S. and North Korea began talks over Mr Kim's controversial nuclear weapons programme.
Kim is ready to invite worldwide experts to inspect the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which Pyongyang invited global journalists to witness being demolished in May, according to Pompeo.
But the senior US official said the United States still expected cooperation with Beijing on efforts to denuclearize North Korea, whose chief ally is China.
The trip was the latest turn in a diplomatic saga that saw Trump and Kim threaten each other with nuclear war previous year only for them to hold their historic summit in Singapore. Without this access, intelligence agencies and other experts have had to rely on satellite images and scattered reports from sources inside the country in order to gauge whether or not there has actually been any progress.
After Mr Pompeo left North Korea in July, hailing progress, Mr Kim's government denounced him for making "gangster-like demands".
The KCNA said that Kim also expressed "will" and "conviction" to make progress on issues of mutual concern, apparently indicating the denuclearization talks that have nearly been stalled since the June summit in Singapore.
After Seoul, Pompeo ends his trip Monday in China, North Korea's political and economic lifeline. Pyongyang also praised the progress made in a statement released to state media. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is also expected to travel to North Korea.
Kim praised their "nice meeting", telling Pompeo via an interpreter following the morning's talks that it was "a very nice day that promises a good future. for both countries".
Another planned trip by Pompeo to Pyongyang was scrapped after what Trump said was insufficient progress towards implementing the terms of the Singapore declaration.
Pompeo met with Kim for three and a half hours, which included a 90-minute luncheon, and then flew to Seoul later Sunday to share the outcome with South Korean officials.
Since Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June, US-North Korea relations have stalled.
"We urge the U.S.to stop such misguided activities".
The trade war between China and the United States is however being seen as a barrier to co-operation in the North Korean crisis.
North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, located inside a mountain near the border with China, has been the site of all six of the country's nuclear tests.
Moon also said there was a possibility of Kim holding a summit with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.