Home Politics South Korea: Delaying Pompeo’s trip to North Korea ‘unfortunate’

South Korea: Delaying Pompeo’s trip to North Korea ‘unfortunate’

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South Korea: Delaying Pompeo’s trip to North Korea ‘unfortunate’

South Korea’s foreign ministry lamented the Trump administration’s decision to delay a meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials this week, calling continued dialogue between the two governments “most important.”

The statement follows a tweet from President Trump on Friday indicating that he had directed Pompeo to cancel an upcoming meeting with North Korean officials over a reported lack of progress in denuclearization.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed at a historic summit in June to work toward the eventual denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula.

“While we consider the delay of the visit to North Korea as unfortunate, we believe it’s most important for the North Korea-U.S. dialogue including Secretary Pompeo’s visits to North Korea to contribute to substantial progress in complete denuclearization and the establishment of a permanent peace regime in the Korean Peninsula,” a statement from the South Korean foreign ministry reads, according to The Associated Press.

The president slammed North Korea as well as China in a series of tweets Friday announcing Pompeo’s cancelation, adding that China bears responsibility for not assisting with diffusing tensions in the region.

“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,” Trump wrote.

“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” he added.

In the statement Saturday, South Korean officials called for diplomats on both sides to look at the big picture rather than focus on “attaching meaning to each change in the situation.”

“It’s most important to maintain a long-term view while maintaining a momentum for dialogue and concentrate diplomatic efforts to faithfully implement the agreements from the summits between South Korea and North Korea and between North Korea and the United States, instead of attaching meaning to each change in the situation,” the statement reads.

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