Mike Pompeo in North Korea for pre-summit meetings | News | DW | 09.05.2018
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Mike Pompeo in North Korea for pre-summit meetings

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has landed in Pyongyang to meet with North Korean officials ahead of a planned meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. There is also hope for the release of detainees.

South Koreans watch on a screen reporting the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visit to North Korea at the Seoul Railway Station on May 9, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. (Getty Images/Chung Sung-Jun)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Pyongyang

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea Wednesday to finalize plans for a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Ahead of his trip to Pyongyang, Pompeo said he hoped he would "put in place a framework for a successful summit between the two presidents."

Pompeo said he was not sure if he would meet Kim for a second time during this visit, but that he would sit down with North Korea's "most senior leaders."

Read more: Not everyone on the Korean peninsula is thrilled about rapprochement

The director of the department responsible for inter-Korean relations, Kim Yong Chul, hosted a lunch for Pompeo and about a dozen staff members traveling with him.

Pompeo said that Kim was a great partner in working to make the planned summit successful. Trump has said that it was his own pressure tactics that brought North Korea to the negotiating table. However, Kim said that North Korea's policies aren't a result of sanctions imposed on the country.

South Koreans watching Mike Pompeo shaking hands with Kim Jong Un (Getty Images/Chung Sung-Jun)

There is cautious optimism on the Korean peninsula about the summit.

Detainees coming home?

US officials said that Pompeo will also be pushing North Korea to release three detained American citizens, whose imminent freedom Trump has been hinting at.

"We have been asking for the release of these detainees for 17 months. We'll talk about it again today," Pompeo said earlier. He said that their release would be a "great gesture" and added that he hoped North Korea would "do the right thing." 

Reportedly, Kim Hak Song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong Chul were moved from a labor camp to a hotel on the outskirts of Pyongyang in early April.

av/rt (DPA, Reuters, AP)

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