Mike Pompeo Expecting to Return with the Detained US Citizens, Says South Korean Official: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expecting to return from North Korea with three American detainees, as well as details of an upcoming summit between leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, a South Korean official said on Wednesday.
Mike Pompeo Expecting to Return with the Detained US Citizens, Says South Korean Official
Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday from Japan and headed to the Koryo Hotel in the North Korean capital for meetings.
The top US diplomat and officials accompanying him were feted at lunch by Kim Yong Chol, former spy chief and currently the North’s director of the United Front Department which is responsible for inter-Korean relations.
Trump earlier broke the news of Pompeo’s second visit to North Korea in less than six weeks and said the two countries have agreed on a date and location for the summit, although he is stopping short of providing details.
An official at South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Pompeo was expected to finalize the date of the summit and secure the release of the three American detainees.
While Trump says it will be a great thing if the American detainees freed, Pompeo tells reporters en route to Pyongyang he had not received such a commitment but hoped North Korea would do the right thing.
We will talk about it again today, he says. I think it would be a grand gesture if they would choose to do so.
At lunch on Wednesday, Pompeo said the United States is committed to working with North Korea to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula.
I have high expectations the United States will play a huge role in establishing peace on the Korean peninsula, says Kim, the former spy chief.
The remarks are providing in the Pool Report.
In response, Pompeo says the group with him was equally committed to working with you to achieve precisely that.
For decades, we have an adversary.
Now we are hopeful that we are working together to resolving this conflict, take away threats to the world and makes your country have all the opportunities your people so richly deserve, Pompeo is adding.
The pending US-North Korea summit has to spark a flurry of diplomacy, with Japan, South Korea, and China holding a high-level meeting on Wednesday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said concerned parties should seize the opportunity to promote denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the official Xinhua news agency reporting.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is attending the meeting along with South Korean President Moon.
Jae-In, says his nation will normalize ties with North Korea if the nuclear and missile issues, along with that of the abduction of Japanese citizens, were solved comprehensively.
We must take the recent momentum towards denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula and peace and security in Northeast Asia, and, cooperating even further with international society.
Make sure this is linking to concrete action by North Korea, Abe told a news conference after the meeting.
North Korea has admitting to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens’ decades ago to train the spies. Five have to return to Japan.
Teachers, Missionary Held
The three US detainees still being held are Korean-American missionary Kim Dong-Chul; Kim Sang-duck, also known as Tony Kim.
Who has spending a month teaching at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology before he is arrested in the year 2017 and Kim Hak-song, who is also teaching at PUST?
Until now, the only American releasing by North Korea during Trump’s presidency has Otto Warmbier.
A 22-year-old university student who is returning to the United States in a coma last summer after 17 months of captivity and dies days later.
Warmbier’s death escalating US-North Korea tensions, already running high at the time over Pyongyang’s stepping-up missile tests.
Pompeo’s visit comes a day after Kim Jong Un making his second trip to China in less than two months, meeting President Xi Jinping and discussing the ongoing international talks over the North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
During the visit, announcing after it was over, Kim tells Xi he is hoping relevant parties will take phasing and synchronizing measures to realize denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, according to Chinese state media.
Separately, Trump and Xi discussing developments on the Korean peninsula and Kim’s visit to China during a phone call on Tuesday morning, the White House says.
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