June 29, 2018 12:57
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to visit Pyongyang next week to start follow-up denuclearization talk.
His visit comes some three weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Pompeo abruptly canceled a meeting with the Indian foreign minister slated for July 6 because of his plan to travel to Pyongyang, the Financial Times reported.
As Washington's point man in talks with North Korea, Pompeo has visited Pyongyang twice, in late March and early May, to meet with Kim and other officials.
Trump himself seemed to be vague about what the next step is going to be. At a rally in North Dakota on Wednesday, he said, "So we have things cooking now, you are going to be so happy," but added, "When people rush it, it is like rushing the turkey out of the stove, it is not going to be as good."
North Korea has been notably passive about any further steps toward denuclearization since the summit.
The Trump administration's key foreign and security officials urged Pyongyang to take follow-up measures immediately.
At a hearing on Wednesday, Pompeo said Washington has kept its promise to Pyongyang by suspending annual South Korea-U.S. military drills, while expressing the hope that Pyongyang will keep its promise too. He reiterated that U.S. officials will walk out of their talks with Pyongyang unless it promises complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
Trump's hawkish security adviser John Bolton also expressed the hope for follow-up U.S.-North Korea talks, during his visit to Russia Wednesday.
On a visit to China, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis reaffirmed the importance of the North's complete and verifiable denuclearization when he met with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, a Pentagon spokesperson said.
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