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N Korea at crossroads

Kim Jong Un pressed Pompeo to ease sanctions

North Korea drums up international support for an end to the penalties

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for an end to economic sanctions when they met in Pyongyang on Oct. 7, said a source familiar with the matter, in what could become a major sticking point as the two sides negotiate the dismantlement of the North's nuclear program.

The U.S. has repeatedly called on the North to disclose its nuclear holdings and give inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency access to nuclear facilities. Kim told Pompeo he was ready to accept inspections at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and other facilities, but in exchange requested relief from the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council and a joint declaration officially ending the Korean War, the source said.

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