Pompeo to travel to meet Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang next week

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Choe's visit comes as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit Pyongyang on Sunday with Biegun for denuclearization talks with leader Kim Jong Un.

"I think it shows momentum that he is paying his fourth trip", Nauert told reporters.

"It looks like we'll have a second summit quite soon", he said.

Pompeo said last month that the North Koreans had been invited to such a meeting in the wake of the third summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim. In contrast, North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho told the United Nations last week maintaining sanctions only deepens the North's mistrust of the US and would not disarm unilaterally.

He will also travel to Japan, South Korea and China on his swing through Asia, she said.

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Since then, North Korea has suspended missile testing and has taken some steps to dismantle facilities associated with its nuclear program, but it has not halted weapons development.

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Nauert didn't provide specific details of what Pompeo plans to discuss with the North Korean leader, but she said the meeting will focus on Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities.

His Foreign Minister, Mr Ri Yong Ho, on Saturday told the United Nations General Assembly that there was a "deadlock" in the denuclearisation talks as the U.S. "relies on coercive measure that are lethal to trust-building".

Choe is a veteran diplomat who was once involved in now-stalled multilateral talks on North Korea's denuclearization and represented her country in negotiations with the United States.

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While speaking at a rally in Wheeling, West Virginia, over the weekend, Trump said that he and Kim "fell in love".

"The perception that sanctions can bring us on our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant of us", North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said in a speech to the UNGA on Saturday.

"We're hopeful. We're working toward that goal", Nauert said of the 2021 timeline.

Pompeo stressed that, in the meantime, global sanctions would have to remain in place on North Korea.

Rep. Park Kyung-mee, a spokeswoman of the ruling progressive Democratic Party, said in a statement that this year's National Foundation Day was more meaningful due to better prospects of establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, adding that 70 years of conflict with the North was "relieved at once".

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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. Ironically, such a settlement can succeed only if the Trump administration's North Korea policy keeps failing.

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