Diplomats from South Korea, Japan, US hold talks to discuss North Korea strategy, hope 'momentum can be maintained'

Seoul: The top diplomats of South Korea, the US and Japan had talks in Seoul on Thursday over a strategy on North Korea, emboldened by the first-ever Pyongyang-Washington summit.

Starting a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha expressed hope that the "current momentum will be maintained", a report in the Yonhap news agency said.

Supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump. Reuters

US president Donald Trump met Kim Jong-un on Tuesday this week. Reuters

Their closed-door talks were followed by a trilateral session involving Japan's minister Taro Kono. Earlier on Thursday, Pompeo paid a courtesy call to President Moon Jae-in.

The US diplomat briefed them "in detail" about the results of the summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong-un held in Singapore on Tuesday, officials said.

In a joint statement after Tuesday's summit, Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula and Trump vowed security guarantees for the communist nation on the basis of the "new relations" between the long-time adversaries.

Pompeo will lead Washington's follow-up negotiations with Pyongyang, but the details were not immediately known. "I will be the person who takes the role of driving this process forward," he told reporters.

He's expected to sit down with a high-level North Korean official as early as next week.

Pompeo said the denuclearisation process can make significant progress by the end of Trump's first term in early 2021. Regarding the issue of "major disarmament", the former CIA director said, "We're hopeful that we can achieve that in the next two and a half years, something like that."

He dismissed criticism about the summit accord without the term "compete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation" (CVID). "Let me assure you that the 'complete' encompasses verifiable in the minds of everyone concerned," he stressed. "One can't completely denuclearise without validating, authenticating."


Updated Date: Jun 14, 2018 10:08 AM

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