07 Oct 2018
Pompeo eyes progress over next Trump-Kim summit on Asia trip
Written byAakanksha Raghuvanshi ·
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped to accelerate the second summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump as he kicked off an Asian trip Saturday that will also feature a meeting with the North Korean leader.
Pompeo arrived in Tokyo on the first leg of a tour that will take him to Pyongyang for the fourth time.
We're going to set up the next summit says Pompeo
Pompeo said his aim was to "develop sufficient trust" between the historic foes to inch towards peace.
However, he played down expectations for a major breakthrough, saying, "I doubt we'll get it nailed but begin to develop options for both location and timing for when Chairman Kim will meet with the President again."
"Maybe we will get further than that," he said.
After Singapore summit, Kim committed towards denuclearization of Korean peninsula
In June, Trump met Kim in Singapore in the first-ever summit between the countries.
No sitting US President has visited North Korea, which according to human rights groups remains one of the most repressive countries on Earth.
Since the Singapore summit, which yielded a vague commitment by Kim towards denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the road towards better ties has been bumpy.
Trump in 'love' with the strongman in Pyongyang
Trump scrapped a previously planned trip by his top diplomat to Pyongyang after what he said was insufficient progress towards implementing the terms of the Singapore declaration.
But the unorthodox US President has since declared himself "in love" with the strongman in Pyongyang.
Pompeo has repeatedly declined to be drawn publicly on the shape of an eventual agreement.
US called for strict enforcement of sanctions on North Korea
In the meantime, the United States has called for a comprehensive accord and strict enforcement of sanctions on North Korea.
Pompeo kicked off his trip with talks in Tokyo with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono.
Japan, which has been threatened with annihilation, has historically taken a hard line on Pyongyang and stressed the need to maintain pressure on the regime.
Pompeo to discuss Japanese citizens' abduction by North Korea
However, Abe has said the only way to improve strained ties is a face-to-face meeting with former international pariah Kim.
Speaking ahead of his talks, Pompeo said it was important for him before traveling to Pyongyang that the two allies were "fully in sync" adding he would also bring up with Kim the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea decades ago.
Pompeo's travel plan after Tokyo
Abe called for "coordination" on Japanese citizens abduction issue and also on North Korea's nuclear threat. After Tokyo, Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang and then on to South Korea, whose dovish President Moon Jae-in has served as a go-between for the two sides.
'North Korea could agree to dismantle its signature nuclear site'
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has given a hint the North could agree to dismantle Yongbyon, its signature nuclear site.
In exchange, the United States would declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice rather than a full-blown peace treaty, but North Korea would stop short of delivering an exhaustive list of its nuclear facilities, she said.
Beijing stop could be tense provided Pence's speech accusing China
Pompeo didn't discuss possible outlines of a deal, saying his "mission is to make sure that we understand what each side is truly trying to achieve."
Pompeo will close his trip Monday in China but Beijing stop could be tense as it comes days after Vice-President Mike Pence delivered a blistering speech accusing China of military-aggression, commercial theft, and many more actions against Trump.