Mike Pompeo’s visit to China kicks off with frosty exchange

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Also on Monday, Pompeo met senior Communist Party foreign affairs official Yang Jiechi, who recalled that Beijing lodged official protests with the United States to express its "dissatisfaction" over a series of U.S. actions.

But unlike his last visit to Beijing in June, Pompeo did not have a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The restrictions for Pompeo's recent talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were voiced by his "old" diplomatic partner, Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spy chief who has been negotiating with the United States on nuclear issues.

Pompeo said he and Kim had gotten "pretty close" to fixing the logistics for the summit but stressed that "sometimes that last inch is hard to close".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speak during a meeting at Abe's office in Tokyo, Oct. 6, 2018.

"We require that the United States stop such misguided actions", he pointed out, adding that the two countries should pursue cooperation "and not descend into conflict and confrontation".

Kim praised their "nice meeting", telling Pompeo via an interpreter following the morning's talks that it was "a very nice day that promises a good future. for both countries".

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.

Pompeo's meeting in Beijing was the last stop of his Asia trip, meant to revitalise the stalled denuclearisation negotiations with Pyongyang, in particular, amid concerns that worsening Sino-US relations could undermine their cooperation on North Korea. Pompeo said there was agreement that Kim and President Donald Trump would hold their second summit as soon as possible, but plans for a sequel to their June meeting in Singapore already were in the works.

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Wang said cooperation should be the only choice for China and the United States, but denied Beijing was interfering in U.S. domestic affairs.

This time, Kim was satisfied with the "productive and wonderful talks" with Pompeo, according to the regime's Korean Central News Agency. He came away from it saying the two sides had made progress, only for North Korea to denounce him for making "gangster-like" demands and raising "cancerous" issues.

If ties between the two countries continued to deteriorate, there could be "profound changes" in the strategic environment for such regional issues as North Korea, China's state-backed Global Times tabloid warned in an editorial.

Moon said a second Mr. Trump-Kim summit could be accompanied by major diplomatic developments that could contribute to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and stabilizing peace.

"For Asia, the severity of China-U.S. frictions is taking up much attention and is, to some extent, diluting attention paid to the Korean peninsula issue", it said.

Specifically, Pompeo revealed that North Korea agreed to allow worldwide inspectors to survey their nuclear and missile testing sites.

Kim and Xi have met three times in China this year as the two countries seek to fix relations frayed by tensions over the North's nuclear activities and Beijing's backing of United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.

"I would certainly expect so", the official said.

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