SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) — United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed to North Korea on Sunday to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Pompeo left for Pyongyang from Tokyo earlier in the day, where he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Saturday, Japan’s Kyodo News reported.
South Korean officials said that in Pyongyang, the U.S. secretary will hold a meeting with the North Korean leader on the issues of denuclearization and the establishment of a peace regime.
Following the meeting, Pompeo will fly to Seoul for a meeting with President Moon Jae-in and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha later Sunday and brief them on the results of his trip to the North.
On Monday, he will depart for Beijing for talks.
His visit to the North, his fourth, comes as the U.S. and the North are trying find a breakthrough in the stalled denuclearization negotiations.
The U.S. has insisted that the North must declare its nuclear arsenal before any peace process moves forward, but the North has sought an initial end-of-war declaration from the U.S.
Progress from Pompeo’s Pyongyang trip would help revive denuclearization talks and set details for the planned second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Each side has to develop sufficient trust so they can take the actions necessary to get to the end, and then we’re also going to set up the next summit,” Pompeo said on a stop in Anchorage, Alaska, before arriving Japan.
“So we hope to at least — I doubt we’ll get it nailed, but begin to develop options for both location and timing that Chairman Kim will meet with the president again. Maybe we’ll get further than that,” he said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency