S. Korean Foreign Minister to meet Pompeo ahead of Korea summits

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha's discussions with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are expected to set the stage for a summit between their leaders later this month.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha's discussions with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are expected to set the stage for a summit between their leaders later this month.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL • South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha is slated to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the first time today, with discussions expected to set the stage for a summit between their leaders later this month, her ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Ms Kang is to report on the results of last month's historic summit between South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and discuss upcoming talks between the United States and North Korea, the ministry said.

The leaders of both Koreas met in Panmunjom last month, and both sides promised to pursue the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula and a permanent peace.

US President Donald Trump and Mr Moon are scheduled to hold a summit in Washington on May 22.

Mr Trump said yesterday that he will meet Mr Kim on June 12 in Singapore for a first ever summit between the leaders of the two countries. Mr Kim had earlier hailed the planned meeting with Mr Trump as a "historic" opportunity during talks with Mr Pompeo in Pyongyang, according to North Korean state media yesterday.

Mr Kim, who is at the centre of a whirlwind of diplomacy as the international community looks to curtail the North's nuclear programme, said his summit with Mr Trump "would be a historic meeting" and an "excellent first step".

He said it would help towards improving the situation on the Korean peninsula and the "building of a good future", in comments published on its official KCNA news agency.

Mr Kim highly appreciated that Mr Trump showed deep interest in settling the issue on the Korean peninsula through dialogue, the news agency said.

It added that Mr Kim also agreed to the request by the US side for the release of three Americans.

"An in-depth discussion was made on the practical matters for holding the DPRK-US summit and its procedure and ways" and Mr Kim and Mr Pompeo "reached a satisfactory consensus on the issue", said the agency, using the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2018, with the headline 'S. Korean Foreign Minister to meet Pompeo ahead of Korea summits'. Print Edition | Subscribe