Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoRepublican lawmakers raise security, privacy concerns over Huawei cloud services WashPost fact-checker gives Pompeo four 'Pinocchios' for 'zombie' claim about Obama Iran deal Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability MORE is traveling to North Korea on Tuesday ahead of a planned summit between President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump announced that his top diplomat was en route to North Korea during a speech in which he announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.
As he pulled out of the 2015 accord in which the U.S. and other nations lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program, Trump vowed that the U.S. “no longer makes empty threats.”
Critics have said that withdrawing from the Iran deal could make Pyongyang hesitant to strike a new accord with the U.S., but Trump pledged to follow through on his administration’s efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
“When I make promises, I keep them. In fact, at this very moment, Secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un,” Trump said.
“Plans are being made, relationships are building, hopefully a deal will happen,” he added.
When asked after his speech whether three Americans being held hostage in North Korea will be freed, Trump said “we’ll all soon be finding out.”
“It would be a great thing if they are. We’ll soon be finding out,” he said.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), who recently joined Trump's personal legal team, made headlines last week when he said during a Fox News interview that North Korea would release three American prisoners, even though no formal announcement of their release had yet been made.
The White House and State Department have since distanced themselves from Giuliani's comments.
Trump said after his speech that Pompeo would arrive in North Korea in about an hour. He added that the location and date has been set for his meeting with Kim, though the details have not been announced.
Pompeo previously traveled to North Korea and met with Kim over Easter weekend. At the time, Pompeo was still serving in his previous role as CIA director.