Trump Admin Pushing for Second North Korea Summit Before January

Pompeo: ‘Now is not the time to ease pressure’ on Pyongyang

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walks with President Donald Trump / Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is working to set up a second meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un by the year's end to discuss denuclearization.

Speaking at a press conference during this year's United Nations General Assembly, Pompeo refused to offer a timeline for a follow-on summit between the two leaders, but said, "Lord willing, I'll be traveling before the end of the year" to make final preparations in Pyongyang.

"To set a date certain would be foolish, but make no mistake about it, the conversations that we're having are important, they're putting the opportunity to complete the denuclearization in place, and we will continue at every level to have those conversations—some of them you all will be aware of, some of them you won’t know are taking place," Pompeo told reporters.

Though Pompeo expressed confidence that Kim would honor his pledge to reduce North Korea's nuclear capabilities, he warned, "Now is not the time to ease pressure."

Trump told reporters earlier in the day he expected to meet with Kim for a second time "quite soon." The president first met with Kim in June.

"Kim Jong Un wrote a letter, a beautiful letter, asking for a second meeting, and we will be doing that. Secretary Pompeo will be working that out," Trump said.

The president last month canceled Pompeo's planned trip to Pyongyang after the two determined the visit was not likely to make progress.

At last week's summit with South Korea's President Moon Jai-in, Kim signaled willingness for the first time to permanently dismantle North Korea's main nuclear complex if the United States took corresponding actions.

Pompeo said the meetings between Moon and Kim "yielded another positive step forward" but acknowledged it will be "some time before we get to complete denuclearization." The secretary of state has previously said the administration is seeking to achieve Pyongyang's denuclearization by January 2021.