Pom­peo vis­its Seoul to dis­cuss sum­mit fol­low-up mea­sures

The Korea Times - - NK-US SUMMIT - By Kim Bo-eun bkim@ko­re­atimes.co.kr

U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo is vis­it­ing Seoul to dis­cuss fol­low-up mea­sures for the North Korea-U.S. sum­mit held Tues­day. It is his first of­fi­cial visit to Seoul since he took of­fice as sec­re­tary of state in April.

Pom­peo, who ar­rived in Seoul on Wed­nes­day, will meet Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in to dis­cuss declar­ing an end to the 1950-53 Korean War, as part of the means to guar­an­tee regime se­cu­rity for North Korea.

At the sum­mit be­tween North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in Sin­ga­pore, North Korea agreed to com­mit to com­plete de­nu­cle­ariza­tion and the U.S. to guar­an­tee North Korea its regime se­cu­rity.

Ear­lier, there had been spec­u­la­tions that Moon could join Kim and Trump in Sin­ga­pore to hold talks on end­ing the Korean War, but this did not hap­pen.

End­ing the Korean War was not in­cluded in the agree­ment reached at the bi­lat­eral sum­mit.

In a press con­fer­ence fol­low­ing the sum­mit, Trump said “Now we can have hope it will soon end.”

Talks on end­ing the Korean War could be ar­ranged to in­clude China. The Pan­munjeom Dec­la­ra­tion reached at the in­ter-Korean sum­mit on April 27 states the Koreas and the U.S. could hold three-way talks or the Koreas, the U.S. and China hold four-party talks with the aim of end­ing the war within this year.

The U.S. and China are in­volved states in the process be­cause com­man­ders of China and the U.S.-led U.N. forces signed the armistice.

The states may aim to make the dec­la­ra­tion on July 27, the date the armistice was signed in 1953. Spec­u­la­tion is that the dec­la­ra­tion may oth­er­wise be made at the U.N. Gen­eral Assem­bly in Sep­tem­ber.

The coun­tries may also sign a peace treaty to pre­vent ag­gres­sion.

Pom­peo is also likely to dis­cuss prospects of halt­ing joint mil­i­tary drills be­tween the U.S. and South Korea, which Trump men­tioned in the press con­fer­ence fol­low­ing the sum­mit. North Korea, which has re­garded the ex­er­cises as a threat, has called for them to be halted.

South Korea’s de­fense min­istry on Thurs­day said there were no prior dis­cus­sions with the U.S. on the mat­ter.

Mean­while, Pom­peo will meet with his South Korean coun­ter­part Kang Kyung-wha to­day to dis­cuss what took place at the Trump-Kim sum­mit.

They will dis­cuss how the U.S. and South Korea can co­op­er­ate in achiev­ing com­plete de­nu­cle­ariza­tion and set­tle­ment of peace on the Korean Penin­sula.

Pom­peo and Kang will also have a sep­a­rate meet­ing with Ja­panese For­eign Min­is­ter Taro Kono in Seoul to­day, and hold a joint press con­fer­ence af­ter­ward. Kono ar­rived in Seoul a day ear­lier.

Kang and Kono will have a lunch meet­ing to dis­cuss is­sues sur­round­ing the Korean Penin­sula and the means to pro­mote bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

Mike Pom­peo

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