Pompeo to travel to DPRK, meeting with Kim for talks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left is preparing his fourth trip to North Korea where he will meet leader Kim Jong Un

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left is preparing his fourth trip to North Korea where he will meet leader Kim Jong Un

North Korea's state media on Tuesday issued a commentary urging Washington to lift sanctions if it wants further progress in their stalled nuclear talks.

North Korea refers to itself as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK.

"Without any trust in the USA, there will be no confidence in our national security", Ri Yong Ho said, "and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first". "It is a contradiction that the U.S.is talking about the dialogue with its partner while ratcheting up sanctions and pressure on it".

North Korea, Lee stressed, was willing to give up its nuclear weapons for peace and prosperity.

"We see this as a consistent effort, before, during and after any diplomatic efforts by the United States and the worldwide community, " said Joyce, describing North Korea as being "undeterred" and urging the USA government to provide more specific threat information to financial institutions about APT38's modus operandi.

According to South Korean government reports, North is believed to have produced 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of weaponized plutonium, enough for at least eight bombs.

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FireEye says APT38, the name it gives to the hacking group dedicated to bank theft, has emerged and stepped up its operations since February 2014 as the economic vise on North Korea has tightened in response to its nuclear and missile tests.

"This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform" relations between the US and North Korea "through the process of rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021, as committed by Chairman Kim, and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula", the statement said. "There's no nuclear testing and there's not testing of rockets". Stanford University scholars, including nuclear physicist Siegfried Hecker who visited North Korea's centrifuge facility at Nyongbyon in 2010, wrote earlier this year that North Korea is estimated to have a highly enriched uranium inventory of 250 to 500 kilograms (550 to 1,100 pounds), sufficient for 25 to 30 nuclear devices.

The question is how long that dialogue process can be sustained, and how it ends - with a nuclear-free North Korea at peace with its neighbors, with detente and containment of a de facto nuclear-armed state, or with a return to open hostility.

Pompeo, who is trying to arrange a new summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump, will also head to US allies Japan and South Korea, as well as North Korea's chief ally China, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The joint celebration comes after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim's third meeting last month, in which they agreed to mark the summit anniversary with "meaningful" events. "He likes me, I like him, we get along", Trump said at a press conference Wednesday. He begins his trip in Tokyo, and will also visit Seoul and Beijing.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the State Department in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2018.

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