Getting a deal on denuclearisation between the US and North Korea is going to be a “long haul”, a senior American official has said, after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his fourth visit to Pyongyang.
But the official – part of Mr Pompeo’s delegation – did say the trip had been “better than the last time”.
After Mr Pompeo left North Korea in July, hailing progress, Kim Jong Un’s government denounced him for making “gangster-like demands”.
Mr Pompeo and Mr Kim did not meet on that occasion, but did this time, and were filmed smiling warmly in what appeared to be a convivial atmosphere.
They met for about two hours, including lunch at a prestigious state guesthouse called the Paekhwawon, or 100 Flowers Garden.
Later, South Korea said the North had agreed to hold a second summit with the US as soon as possible, following the landmark event between President Donald Trump and Mr Kim in June.
They also agreed to form a working group to discuss denuclearisation, South Korea’s presidential office said.
Mr Pompeo travelled on to South Korea for a meeting with President Moon Jae-in following his meeting in Pyongyang.
Mr Pompeo’s latest visit to North Korea was initially planned in late August, but cancelled by Mr Trump, who said there had not been enough progress.
At the summit in June, Mr Kim pledged to work towards denuclearisation.
Since then, Pyongyang’s actions have since fallen short of what Washington was looking for, such as declaring all nuclear and missile facilities.
Mr Pompeo has angered North Korea by insisting that international sanctions against it must continue until it renounces its nuclear weapons.
But the mood appeared positive on Sunday.
“It’s a very nice day that promises a good future for both countries,” Mr Kim said as he sat down to lunch with Mr Pompeo.
“Thank you for hosting,” Mr Pompeo said. “President Trump sends his regards.
“We had a very successful morning, so thank you and I am looking forward to our time here at lunch as well.”
Mr Pompeo later tweeted: “We continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore Summit.”