Secretary of State to Visit North Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is making plans to visit North Korea next week to discuss the country’s nuclear disarmament plans, four people familiar with his plans said.

According to U.S. officials, Pompeo had canceled a July 6 meeting with his Indian counterpart in Washington to fly to Pyongyang, the Financial Times reported. It would be his first trip to North Korea since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held an unprecedented June 12 summit in Singapore, Reuters informs.

A State Department official denied there were any plans for the Secretary of State to travel to the isolated country.

This would not be Pompeo’s first visit to Pyongyang, as he previously traveled there when setting up the Singapore summit between the two leaders. Pompeo said last week he would probably go back “before too terribly long” to try to work out commitments made at the Trump-Kim meeting.

Earlier this week the Secretary of State told lawmakers he was confident the North Koreans understood the scope of the U.S. desire for North Korea’s complete denuclearization. “We’ve been pretty unambiguous in our conversations about what we mean when we say complete denuclearization,” Pompeo told a Senate subcommittee hearing.

After the summit, Trump maintained there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea, drawing harsh criticism by security analysts for not providing details as to how and when the hermit regime would denuclearize. He said last week that North Korea was blowing up four of its big test sites and that a process of “total denuclearization … has already started,” a claim which was rejected by officials, who said there was no evidence of such activity.

On Thursday, the United States ambassador to UN, Nikki Haley, appeared to question how much had been achieved, saying “At the United Nations (Security Council) we haven’t even so much as done any sort of press statement, any sort of congratulations. We have not acknowledged the summit because nothing has happened.”

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