Pompeo, Japanese counterpart meet on North Korea
TOKYO — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono have reconfirmed how the two nations will work together, in coordination with South Korea, in a joint effort to achieve a denuclearized North Korea.
Japanese Foreign Ministry officials say in their meeting in Tokyo on Sunday, Pompeo gave Kono details on his latest talks with North Korea, which outlined in detail the steps toward denuclearization the US expects the North to take.
Pompeo also told Kono he had raised in the talks in Pyongyang, which ended Saturday, the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea, a major sticking point for Japan in its relations with North Korea.
Pompeo is brushing aside North Korea’s accusation of “gangster-like” demands, vowing that sanctions will remain until leader Kim Jong Un’s pledge to get rid of his nuclear weapons is met.
North Korea’s statement bashed hopes for a quick deal and is sure to fuel growing skepticism in the U.S. over how serious Kim is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.
Speaking in Tokyo after meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, Pompeo said Sunday that denuclearization will be difficult and that much work remains. But he maintained that progress is being made.
Among the steps are the formation of a working group to determine exactly how North Korea’s denuclearization will be verified, and meeting to discuss the return of remains of Americans killed during the Korean War. /ee
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