U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has welcomed the "important commitments" made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a summit with his South Korean counterpart this week.
North Korea announced it would disassemble its nuclear missile test complex under a comprehensive agreement reached by the leaders of the two rival Koreas.
Pompeo said Wednesday that he had invited North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to meet with him in New York at next week’s United Nations General Assembly. He also said Pyongyang's representatives have been invited to hold talks with the U.S. special envoy for North Korea in Austria “at the earliest opportunity.”
“This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform U.S.-DPRK relations through the process of rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021, as committed by Chairman Kim, and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” Pompeo said in a statement.
President Donald Trump also welcomed the post-summit news from North Korea. "We had very good news from North Korea, South Korea. They met, and we had some great responses," Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, he tweeted: "Kim Jong Un has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts. In the meantime there will be no Rocket or Nuclear testing."
At the end of their three-day summit, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced that Pyongyang had agreed to close the Yongbyong facility, coupled with a pledge to permanently shut down its missile engine testing facility and launchpad under the watchful eye of international experts.
“We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats,” Kim told reporters during the joint announcement with President Moon.
Moon traveled to Pyongyang Tuesday with the goal of breaking an impasse between North Korea and the U.S. over the pace of Pyongyang's intentions in ending its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The two sides agreed to break the impasse during Kim's historic meeting with Trump in Singapore in June. Trump canceled Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang last month over the impasse.
The two leaders also said Kim will visit Seoul sometime before the year is out, which would make him the first North Korean leader to visit the South Korean capital since the two sides split in the 1950-1953 Korean War.
Moon will wrap up his final full day in Pyongyang, watching North Korea’s spectacular “Mass Games” outdoor propaganda show.