USA ready 'to engage immediately' with North Korea

Mr Pompeo is arranging meetings with North Korean officials with the aim of completing North Korea’s denuclearisation by January 2021

Mr. Trump noted other gains, including North Korea releasing American prisoners, returning remains of US soldiers from the Korean War and stopping its nuclear and missile tests.

The statement came after the North's leader Kim Jong Un agreed to make a historic visit to Seoul soon and close a missile testing site in front of worldwide inspectors in a meeting with the South's President Moon Jae-in. "Prior to becoming president, it looked like we were going to war with North Korea, and now we have a lot of progress", Mr. Trump said. It's very much calmed down.

"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".

But more eye-catching to Washington was his promise to dismantle a missile engine-test facility and a missile launchpad in northwest North Korea that have been essential to the country's development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and invite outside experts to watch.

Both leaders also "agreed on a way to achieve denuclearisation" on the Korean peninsula, Mr Moon said.

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The pledges Kim and Moon made at their third summit this year could inject fresh momentum into the stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang and lay the groundwork for another meeting Kim recently proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The two sides agreed to break the impasse during Kim Jong Un's historic meeting with Trump in Singapore in June.

Building on what Trump called "tremendous progress", Pompeo said he has invited his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong-ho, to meet next week in NY, "where we are both already scheduled to be in attendance at the United Nations General Assembly meeting".

President Moon will wrap up his final full day in Pyongyang, watching North Korea's spectacular "Mass Games" outdoor propaganda show.

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