US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit China and South Korea after Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-un
Pompeo will give update on next steps involving Pyongyang and emphasise importance of enforcing sanctions against North Korea
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he will visit Beijing and Seoul next week to brief senior officials from China, South Korea and Japan on the outcome of the first-ever summit between the United States and North Korea in Singapore.
Pompeo said he would meet South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Seoul on Wednesday before heading to Beijing on Thursday for meetings with senior officials from China, an important ally of North Korea.
At a press briefing on Thursday, the chief US diplomat said he would discuss with his counterparts the next steps involving Pyongyang, in what he said would be “an update and underscore the importance of fully implementing all sanctions that are imposed on North Korea”.
Pompeo will be in Singapore on Tuesday to accompany US President Donald Trump for his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Stressing that Trump “will not stand for a bad deal”, Pompeo said complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula “is the only outcome that we will find acceptable”.
In return, Trump and Kim would also discuss security assurances for North Korea, establishing a peace regime and improving relations between the two countries, Pompeo said.
Trump, meanwhile, has held out the prospect of inviting the North Korean leader to the White House if he deems next week’s summit a success, while indicating he was willing to walk away if he thought talks had not gone well.
A central issue for the June 12 summit in Singapore is the US demand for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme, which now threatens the US.
North Korea has rejected giving up its arsenal unilaterally and defends its nuclear and missile programmes as a deterrent against what it sees as US aggression. The US stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the Korean war.
Trump “is hopeful about the summit”, according to Pompeo, but he was going into the talks “with his eyes wide open”.
Pompeo said that the US would work to guarantee North Korea’s security should it denuclearise, but that the US leader “is prepared to ensure a [North Korea] free of its weapons of mass destruction is also a secure North Korea”.
Additional reporting by Reuters