Anchor: Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha says she hopes U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's upcoming visit to North Korea will produce a breakthrough in stalled denuclearization talks. She's also suggesting Washington hold off on demanding an inventory of North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
Alannah Hill has this report.
Report: South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters Thursday she expects U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will hold concrete denuclearization discussions when they meet in Pyongyang on Sunday.
This will be Pompeo's fourth visit to Pyongyang, and he's aiming to lay the groundwork for a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.
She said that to reach the complete denuclearization of the North, there is a need to approach the matter differently from the past and believes the U.S. is open to flexibility.
This comes after Kang suggested the U.S. hold off for now from demanding an inventory of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, saying it risks bogging down the negotiations in a subsequent dispute over verification.
In a report published by the Washington Post this week, she said U.S.-North Korea negotiations deteriorated after Pyongyang handed over thousands of pages of documents on its key plutonium-related facilities to the George W. Bush administration in 2008.
She predicts a nuclear inventory will emerge in the future, but that point can be reached more quickly if Pyongyang and Washington build sufficient trust with corresponding measures.
She said exchanging a permanent dismantlement of North Korea's main plutonium facility at Yongbyon for a U.S.-backed declaration formally ending the Korean War would be a huge step forward for denuclearization.
Pompeo is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang Sunday to discuss a second U.S.-North Korea summit and denuclearization steps. He's expected to arrive in Seoul later that day.
Alannah Hill, KBS World Radio News.