North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is willing to allow inspectors into his nation’s main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, a senior diplomatic source told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
“I understand that Chairman Kim told (South Korean) President Moon (Jae-in) during their summit in September that if the US took corresponding steps he would not only be willing to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear facilities but also allow verification,” Yonhap cited its source as saying, Reuters reports.
According to the source, Moon passed the message on to US President Donald Trump when the two met during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
Kim had earlier expressed openness to shutting down the site if Washington took “corresponding” measures, but no offer to allow inspectors in to verify had been reported.
Asked about reports on Tuesday on North Korean willingness to allow inspectors in and whether there had been new developments, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she was “not aware of any of that,” but said that Kim had agreed to inspections in a meeting with Pompeo recently, Reuters reported.
“That’s something the secretary and Chairman Kim had agreed to and spoken about when the secretary was in Pyongyang about a month ago or so,” Nauert was quoted as telling reporters. “So that’s something they agreed to and we look forward to Chairman Kim fulfilling his commitments.”
It was not clear from her remarks whether Kim had specifically said inspectors could visit the Yongbyon facilities, Reuters noted.
Washington has stressed the importance of verification as it negotiates with Pyongyang about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
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