"Kim Jong Un inviting the Pope to Pyongyang is a bold and unexpected move", Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on North Korean issues, wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
During the most recent summit between Korean leaders in September, Kim told Moon that he would "greatly welcome" the Pope to Pyongyang, according to South Korea's presidential office. "North Korean summit and we still don't even have a common definition of seemingly straightforward terms such as "denuclearization" and 'Korean Peninsula, '" Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, said via email. It came amid expectations that his meeting with leader Kim could provide momentum to get the denuclearization process going again after a monthslong stalemate over how to rid the North of its nuclear weapons program.
The top United States diplomat also said the two countries were "pretty close" to setting a date and location for the second summit between Kim and Trump.
"I like him, he likes me, the relationship is good", Trump said of Kim.
In response, Pompeo said the two countries have a "fundamental disagreement".
"The supreme leader expressed his will and conviction that a great progress would surely be made in solving the issues of utmost concern of the world and in attaining the goal set forth at the last talks with the projected second DPRK-U.S. summit talks as an occasion", KCNA reported.
"We really hope we can deliver some good outcomes from that when the summit takes place", he added.
Regardless of the push and pull and the apparent lack of a breakthrough, it was an improvement on Pompeo's visit three months ago, when Kim declined to meet him at all.
Trump Kim historic summit in Singapore
"I support the courageous decisions of the North and South Korean leaders", the pope said following the first summit in Panmunjom in April.
The polite but edgy tone underscored the plunge in US-Chinese relations as the administration of President Donald Trump confronts Beijing over its technology policies and territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Russian Federation and China both signaled during the U.N. General Assembly that they expect sanctions against North Korea to be loosened as a reward for concessions purportedly made by the Kim regime.
Pompeo shot back that the U.S.is very concerned with China's risky actions and rhetoric, which destabilizing for cross-strait relations and the entire region.
The North's regime since then has allowed Catholic organisations to run aid projects in the impoverished country, but direct relations with the Vatican are non-existent.
China will take necessary measures to safeguard its rights and interests, Yang said.
A meeting of top U.S. and Chinese diplomats got off to a frosty start on Monday, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi airing grievances amid worsening bilateral relations.
A key issue highlighted by one former US official who has spoken to North Korean officials in recent months is that the definition Kim's regime has of denuclearization is far more expansive than it is for the U.S.
Trump said "eventually we're going to have lots of meetings on United States soil and on their soil by the way".