Pompeo discusses N.Korea with Seoul, Tokyo

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Washington, Jan 22 (IANS) The US State Department has said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a telephonic conversation with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, agreeing on the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

On Sunday, Pompeo spoke with his South Korean counterpart over phone on Sunday, discussing their engagements with North Korea.

State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement on Monday that Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha updated each other on respective engagements with North Korea, Xinhua news agency reported.

The top diplomats of Seoul and Washington also reaffirmed their commitment to the alliance between the US and South Korea, according to the statement.

The telephonic conversation between the two was made after Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee, met Pompeo and US President Donald Trump last Friday in Washington.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday positively expected the outcome of the second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, stressing that South Korea should take this golden opportunity to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula.

The White House announced last Friday that the second summit between Trump and Kim “will take place near the end of February”.

“We’ve picked the country, but we’ll be announcing it in the future,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Saturday morning.

Also on Sunday, Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono reaffirmed their commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, according to a statement issued by the State Department on Monday, Xinhua reported.

The Japanese government said last Saturday that it welcomes the scheduled second US-North Korea summit, and hopes the meeting will produce tangible results toward achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.



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