U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected Thursday to brief his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the outcome of the U.S.-North Korea summit in a trilateral meeting.
Despite what U.S. President Donald Trump hailed as a “comprehensive” agreement reached with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, details such as how Pyongyang will denuclearize are apparently yet to be worked out.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha are expected to seek as much detail as possible from the U.S. side and coordinate trilateral efforts in dealing with Pyongyang.
Under the Singapore document released Tuesday, the United States promised to give security assurances to North Korea, which committed itself to “complete denuclearization.”
Japan could seek support anew for resolving the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s since Trump raised the issue when he met with Kim.
The trilateral framework is critical as Japan and South Korea — both key U.S. allies in Asia — have faced similar threats from North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs in recent years.
(Japan FM Taro Kono)
Trump’s announcement after Tuesday’s summit that he will stop “the war games” has continued to reverberate in South Korea and Japan.
North Korea has demanded that the United States and South Korea stop joint military exercises that it views as preparing for invasion.
Under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has been seeking closer coordination with the United States and beefing up its defense capabilities, citing the North Korean threat.
Kono is expected to meet one-on-one with Pompeo, who has played a leading role in U.S. negotiations with North Korea, later in the day.
(South Korea FM Kang Kyung Wha)