Rebuilding at N. Korea's rocket site 'almost complete': Seoul

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaled hopes Thursday for a third summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as the two sides remain at odds over denuclearization negotiations.

Mr Moon and US President Donald Trump scheduled a summit in Washington on April 11 to discuss North Korea and other alliance issues, the White House said.

The U.S. said it remains open to dialogue with North Korea despite the summit breakdown, and will seek denuclearization talks while maintaining pressure and sanctions on the North.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday in Washington, and Kim Hyun-chong, a deputy chief of South Korea's National Security Office, will visit the U.S. this weekend after his recent trip to Russian Federation.

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A month after his latest summit with Kim ended in stalemate in Vietnam, Trump said he got along "very well" with the young leader, adding: "We understand each other".

The official said the meeting, which will take place on the second day, will discuss ways to strengthen the bilateral alliance and coordinate their stance on achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization.

From Seoul, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports that the South Korean government is predicting the Washington talks will focus on completely removing the nuclear threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula. She said Kim would soon decide whether to continue the talks and his moratorium on nuclear and missile tests.

Seoul is cautiously seeking ways to reopen the shuttered industrial complex in North Korea's border city of Kaesong and resume long-suspended tours to the North's Mount Kumgang within the framework of United Nations sanctions.

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South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers in a private briefing Friday that North Korea has almost completed its work to restore a long-range rocket launch facility that it had partially dismantled previous year at the beginning of the nuclear diplomacy, according to Kim Min-ki, one of the lawmakers who attended the meeting.

Answering a question on Friday, Trump said the sanctions had been set to be announced at the time but that he stopped them.

The lawmaker also cited the National Intelligence Service as saying the North's uranium-enrichment facility at its main nuclear complex remains operational.

He also faces pressure from across the peninsula, with the Kim regime withdrawing staff from a new joint liaison office last week and criticising the south as "cowardly" for backing the USA stance against easing sanctions.

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In a possible reflection of its resolve to press ahead with its engagement policy on North Korea, South Korea's Unification Ministry on Friday reiterated its position that it will push to hold a regular summit with North Korea and realize Kim's promise to travel to Seoul.

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