Pompeo upbeat after talks with senior N. Korean official

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New York, June 1 (IANS) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that it would be a “tragedy” if the “opportunity” of carrying out a United States-North Korea summit were to “go to waste”, adding that talks to organize the summit were moving in the “right direction”.

Pompeo’s statement comes after having met Wednesday and Thursday in New York with high-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong-chol to negotiate the conditions to carry out the summit, Efe reported.

“We’ve made real progress in the last 72 hours in setting the conditions” for the summit to take place, Pompeo said.

The Secretary of State confirmed that Kim, the deputy leader of North Korea’s ruling party, would travel to Washington to personally deliver a letter to President Donald Trump written by Kim Jong-un.

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During his press conference, Pompeo said that the relationship between the two countries is at a “crucial” moment, considering the possibility that the summit between Trump and North Korea’s leader could take place.

The summit was initially scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, although Trump called it off last Thursday, citing North Korea’s “hostility.”

A day later, however, the US president said that the summit could still go on as planned.

“It would be nothing short of a tragedy to let this opportunity go to waste,” Pompeo said, adding that that summit was a “unique opportunity” to “lead into a new era of peace, prosperity and security.”

“I am confident we are moving in the right direction,” Pompeo said regarding his talks with Kim Yong-chol, considered to be the North Korean leader’s right-hand man.

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Pompeo, however, said that it was still unclear whether the meeting would take place on June 12 or at a later date.

–IANS

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