Donald Trump has a new Asian headache as Pompeo gets snubbed & lectured

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands during their historic summit in Singapore back in June

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited Pope Francis to the country's capital city, Pyongyang, South Korea's presidential office announced on 8 October.

The Pope has in the past supported dialogue between the two Koreas and the historic summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump, which took place in Singapore on June 12. "We are not quite there yet".

"I will surely tell you in private about our conversation".

In Beijing, Mr. Pompeo's visit is seen as a marker when the unrelenting spat between the US and China, triggered by the so-called trade war, touched a new low.

The desire to welcome the leader of the Catholic church comes as Kim attempts to transform his image from paranoid head of a rogue state to young and dynamic world leader.

But, as Pompeo made his way back to Washington after three days of talks in Tokyo, Pyongyang, Seoul and Beijing, it was unclear what had been accomplished.

The U.S. says denuclearization means North Korea giving up its weapons. The North has rejected that and South Korea has suggested it may not be a necessary next step.

There's no sign that North Korea is slowing down its production of nuclear fuel.

While China's foreign ministry said at a news briefing Monday that broader tensions wouldn't undermine cooperation on North Korea, Wang told Pompeo that the issue illustrated the importance of maintaining a working relationship.

"The issues that you characterized, we have a fundamental disagreement", Pompeo said. DPRK is the acronym for the country's official name: Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The last time that Pope Francis visited neighboring South Korea, the North "marked" the visit with a missile launch.

According to notes from Mr Pompeo's early Sunday visit to Pyongyang - the secretary's fourth - Mr Pompeo and Kim emerged from their meeting and had lunch together before Mr Pompeo left for South Korea.

A similar situation occurred in June 2000 after then-President Kim Dae-jung returned from his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, telling the press he would convey an invitation to visit Pyongyang to Pope John Paul II.

North Korea has shut it down in past negotiations - and then reopened it. USA officials also made no reference to past statements about wrapping up denuclearization by 2021, a deadline that Trump and Pompeo have since backed away from.

"Most importantly, both the leaders believe there is real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit and so we are going to get it at a time that works for each of the two leaders and at a place that works for both of them", he said.

High-level exchanges between the two countries have been frozen, including a planned diplomatic and security meeting between US Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe originally scheduled for mid-October in Beijing.

Moreover, Chinese officials signaled the discord undermines efforts to cooperate on North Korea, making the USA bid to disarm Kim's regime even less likely. The South Korean Catholic leader and Kim had another occasion to speak on the last day of Moon's visit to the North.

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