Pompeo promises to work with Japan in North Korea denuclearization talks

Pompeo promises to work with Japan in North Korea denuclearization talks
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: Countries should reject China's demands to repatriate Uighurs Trump says he will consider releasing transcript of Ukraine call White House officials, Giuliani come to Trump's defense on Ukraine allegations MORE said Saturday that he would work closely with Japan amid denuclearization talks with North Korea.

Pompeo, speaking to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, pledged to raise the matter of the abductions of Japanese citizens when he travels to Pyongyang on Sunday, Reuters reported.

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“We will have a fully coordinated, unified view of how to proceed, which will be what is needed if it is going to be successful in denuclearizing North Korea,” Pompeo told Abe, according to Reuters. “We will bring up the issue of the abductees as well.”  

Abe reportedly thanked Pompeo for visiting Japan prior to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sunday's trip will mark the secretary of State's first trip to North Korea since President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE scrapped his planned visit in August.  

In his sit-down with the North Korean leader, Pompeo is expected to discuss plans for a second summit between Trump and Kim. Pompeo, speaking to reporters earlier this week, would not say whether he would discuss a declaration to call an official end to the Korean War during this weekend's trip.

"I'm not going to comment on the progress of the negotiations on the end-of-war declaration or any other items, only to say this: I'm very happy to be going back to get another chance to continue to advance the commitment that Chairman Kim and President Trump made back in Singapore in the second week of June," he said.

"I'm optimistic that we'll come away from that with better understandings, deeper progress and a plan forward not only for the summit between the two leaders, but for us to continue the efforts to build out a pathway for denuclearization," he added.

The meeting comes a week after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho slammed the U.S. in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly. In his speech, Ri said the nation would not back off from its nuclear weapons without being able to trust Washington.

“Without any trust in the U.S. there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” he said, according to Reuters.