S. Korea expresses regret over cancelled Pompeo visit to DPRK

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-25 18:30:43|Editor: Li Xia
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SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's foreign ministry on Saturday expressed regret over the cancellation of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

From the South Korean side, it was sorry for Pompeo's "delayed visit" to the DPRK, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said it would be significant to continue to seek ways to make talks between the DPRK and the United States contribute to the common goal of the Korean Peninsula's complete denuclearization and the permanent peace settlement.

It came after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that "I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

"Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future," Trump tweeted. "In the meantime, I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon," he added.

Following the cancelled visit, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha had a phone talks with Pompeo, who explained in detail to the top South Korean diplomat about the reasons for the "delayed visit," according to Seoul's foreign ministry.

Kang told Pompeo that it was sorry for the "delayed visit" as the international community had lots of expectations for it, proposing to continue efforts to denuclearize the peninsula and build permanent peace while maintaining a dialogue momentum.

The ministry said South Korea would take the appointment of Stephen Biegun as the new special U.S. envoy to the DPRK as an opportunity for strengthening consultations further with the United States.

Pompeo said Thursday that he and Biegun would travel to Pyongyang next week "to make further diplomatic progress towards our objective."

The top U.S. diplomat had visited the DPRK three times in April, May and July, respectively.

Trump said on Aug. 20 that he would "most likely" meet with top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un for a second time, and he believed Pyongyang had taken specific steps toward denuclearization.

In a joint statement issued after the June 12 DPRK-U.S. summit in Singapore, Trump committed to providing security guarantees for the DPRK, while Kim reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to a complete denuclearization of the peninsula.