Kim Jong Un invites Pope Francis to Pyongyang

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussed denuclearisation steps to be taken by the North

"But it is wholly in keeping with North Korea's desire to maintain the upper hand in the global public narrative, shaping a discourse where it is the driver of peace".

Although freedom of religion is protected under North Korea's constitution, in practice worship is tightly controlled and limited to state-run institutions.

Mr Pompeo told reporters in Pyongyang the two "had a great, great visit" and that Mr Trump sent his regards.

Secretary of State Pompeo flew to Asia and found himself facing the limits of Trump's efforts to woo Kim Jong Un while confronting China.

Kim "expressed his gratitude to President Trump for making honest effort" to implement the Singapore agreement, according to a report on the Pompeo visit by North Korea's state news agency KCNA.

Trump said "eventually we're going to have lots of meetings on United States soil and on their soil by the way".

In a summit in April, the leaders of South and North Korea agreed to cooperate in declaring an end to the war this year, saying that they will seek multilateral talks involving the United States and possibly China.

At least, a US official traveling with Pompeo said, the visit to North Korea went better than Pompeo's previous trip, which ended with a North Korean statement accusing him of making "gangster-like" demands.

Francis visited South Korea in August 2014.

Pompeo tweeted Monday that he was heading to China to work on a "final, fully-verified" denuclearization of North Korea. According to the former official, the North Korean diplomats told him that denuclearization for them refers to a process by which the USA also reduces its nuclear weapons, possibly worldwide.

There's no sign that North Korea is slowing down its production of nuclear fuel.

Pompeo, however, played down the differences.

High-level exchanges between the two countries have been frozen, including a planned diplomatic and security meeting between US Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe originally scheduled for mid-October in Beijing. And so there'll be tactical places where we'll have debates and disagreements, that is a necessary component of getting to the best deliverable.

"North Korea is bolstering its ties with China and Russian Federation so although the U.S. is maintaining the sanctions regime, it's on thin ice", said Hong Hyun-ik, an analyst at the Sejong Institute.

The KCNA said that Kim also expressed "will" and "conviction" to make progress on issues of mutual concern, apparently indicating the denuclearization talks that have nearly been stalled since the June summit in Singapore.

He cited Kim's invitation to have inspectors visit the already dismantled Punggye-ri test facility, the site of all six of the regime's nuclear blasts. It has not taken any steps to halt nuclear weapons or missile development.

The North has accused Washington of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands on denuclearization and has insisted that sanctions should be lifted before any progress in nuclear talks.

'I think eventually we're going to have lots of meetings on USA soil, and on their soil, by the way. that's a two-way street.

"These actions have damaged our mutual trust, cast a shadow over the future of China-US relations, and go against the interests of the people of the two countries", Wang told Pompeo.

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