Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit his country and believes he would be welcomed “enthusiastically”, according to South Korean officials.
He initiated offers for summits with Seoul and Washington, which led to three meetings with Moon and a highly choreographed June summit with U.S. President Donald Trump at which they issued an aspirational goal of a nuclear-free peninsula, without describing how or when it would occur. The South Korean Catholic leader and Kim had another occasion to speak on the last day of Moon’s visit to the North.
The statement said the two leaders “discussed the upcoming second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim and refined options for the location and date of that next summit”.
“I’d love to remove them, but we have to get something for doing it”, Trump said. The U.S. has “great concerns about the actions that China has taken”, he said.
Before Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, established the North Korean regime, Pyongyang had more Christians than any other city on the peninsula and was widely known as the “Korean Jerusalem”.
He accused Chinese Student and Scholar Associations of being part of the Communist Party effort to foster a culture of censorship, and accused China of – among other things – military aggression in the South China Sea and interference in the United States midterm elections.
North Korea’s vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui met with officials in Beijing on Saturday and is due to hold talks with Russian counterparts in Moscow followed by a trilateral meeting with China and Russia.
Pompeo said that despite obvious differences on many issues between the two sides, the United States does not mean to oppose China’s development, and there is no policy to fully contain China.
DPRK is the acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Another planned trip by Pompeo to Pyongyang was scrapped after what Trump said was insufficient progress towards implementing the terms of the Singapore declaration.
Meanwhile, in Washington, foreign relations experts noted that with 90 percent of North Korea’s exports going through China, Beijing is the one calling the shots.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi shows the way to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China October 8, 2018.
The Beijing stop could be tense as it comes days after Vice President Mike Pence delivered a blistering speech accusing China of military aggression, commercial theft, rising human rights violations and electoral intervention against Trump.
Chinese hoop legend Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets center and eight-time NBA All-Star, took center court as Chinese and North Korean basketball players held a friendly match Tuesday. 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. He and Biegun both said they expected meetings at the working level to begin soon and become quite frequent before the next summit.