White House shares photos of Pompeo meeting Kim Jong Un
The White House on Thursday released photos of newly minted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this month.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared the photos in a tweet touting Pompeo’s confirmation as the nation’s top diplomat earlier in the day.
“Great to have Secretary Pompeo confirmed. He will do an excellent job helping @POTUS lead our efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula,” she wrote.
Great to have Secretary Pompeo confirmed. He will do an excellent job helping @POTUS lead our efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. (photos from previously confirmed Easter weekend trip) pic.twitter.com/o4RNDKVmah
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) April 26, 2018
Pompeo, who has served as Trump’s CIA director, was confirmed as secretary of State by the Senate on Thursday, overcoming steep opposition from Democrats.
The president had said last week that Pompeo quietly traveled to North Korea over the Easter weekend, when he was still CIA director, as part of the administration’s efforts to set up a meeting between Trump and Kim.
Trump said during an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning that he wanted photos of Pompeo’s meeting with Kim to be released.
“[Pompeo] wasn’t supposed to meet with Kim Jong Un, but he did,” Trump said. “He, you know, they arranged, actually, while he was there, to say hello.”
Pressed on whether the meeting was merely a “hello,” Trump said that the pair met for more than an hour and they got along.
“They spoke, and he [Pompeo] also spoke with his counterparts in North Korea. They had a great meeting. He then left,” Trump said.
The White House is in talks with North Korea to arrange a meeting between Trump and Kim in the coming weeks to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
The president has said he’s willing to call off the summit if a push to get North Korea to denuclearize does not progress as he’d like.
Trump recently commended Kim for being “open” and “honorable” as discussions continue. The comment drew swift backlash from Democratic lawmakers.
Trump was asked later what he meant by “honorable,” with a reporter noting that Kim has been accused of murdering family members and starving his people.
Trump responded by expressing hope that diplomatic talks would lead North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons program.
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