Pompeo in N Korea to finalize summit, seek Americans’ release
Pompeo’s visit also comes as a tripartite meeting of East Asia’s major powers takes place in Tokyo, with Japan, South Korea and China groping for a lowest-common-denominator agreement on recent events.
Later, at a lunch of poached fish and duck hosted by Kim Yong Chol, Pompeo said the senior official had been a great partner in working to make the summit a success.
“For decades, we have been adversaries. Now we are hopeful that we can work together to resolve this conflict,” Pompeo said, adding that “there are many challenges along the way.”
Kim noted the improved relations between the Koreas, as well as the North’s policy to “concentrate all efforts into economic progress” in the country.
“This is not a result of sanctions that have been imposed from outside,” he added, citing the will of the Korean people. Trump has said that his pressure tactics brought North Korea to the negotiating table.
His visit also comes as rumors fly over the fate of three U.S. citizens being held in the North, with suggestions they may have been moved in preparation for a release.
Previous detainees have been set free into the care of high profile U.S. visitors.
Tripartite meeting in Tokyo
The agreements came at the first summit for the Northeast Asian neighbors after a hiatus of more than two years, bringing together Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Abe said they discussed how they can get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but he didn’t provide any further details. China and Japan, in particular, have differences over how best to achieve North Korea’s nuclear disarmament.