Washington– US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was dispatching a team to make preparations for the next summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to be held somewhere in Asia late in February.
Earlier this month, Pompeo met with Kim’s deputy Kim Yong Chol in Washington. The two countries agreed to hold another summit in February between their nation’s leaders.
“We’ll do it someplace in Asia,” Pompeo said in an interview.
Making sure that preparations for the second summit would be in place, he announced that there is already a team dispatched for it.
“They’re headed that way now to lay the foundations for what I hope will be a substantial additional step towards the path for not only denuclearization of the peninsula but a brighter future for the North Korean people,” Pompeo said.
“Chairman Kim has told us he’s prepared to do it, and now the mission is to deliver on that.”
At present, there is no mention of the venue for the summit.
Southeast country Vietnam was keen to host and noted last week that if the summit will be held there, they are very capable to become the summit host. However, they said no information for any time or venue for a possible Trump-Kim summit.
Hanoi, the country’s capital, was preparing to receive Kim on a state visit.
Other ASEAN venues have also been mentioned of possibilities to be the summit venue though Singapore was the venue for the first Trump-Kim meeting in June last year.
The last summit, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, resulted in a vague commitment by Kim to work toward the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. But, he has yet to take what Washington sees as concrete steps in that direction.
In preparatory talks for a second summit, a South Korean foreign ministry official said that the two countries would focus on how the United States might respond if the North dismantled its Yongbyon nuclear complex.
In September last year, an inter-Korean summit was held where North Korea’s Kim expressed willingness to close Yongbyon if the United States took the corresponding action.
The South Korean official was quoted mentioning a possible talk to settle a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War coming from the US.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said North Korea could show its commitment to denuclearisation by shutting its Yongbyon complex and allowing international inspections to confirm that.
Preparatory talks for the second summit could begin next week.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress being made – big difference!”
However, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified at Congress last Tuesday, that intelligence information does not support the idea that Kim will eliminate his nuclear weapons or the capacity for building more.