Inter-Korean ties shouldn’t surpass denuclearisation of N Korea: Pompeo

Washington: US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated that the United States had “made clear” to South Korea that denuclearisation of North Korea should not be outpaced by increasing inter-Korean ties as the US saw both developments in tandem- “as moving forward together”.

“We view them as important parallel processes, and that working group is designed to make sure they continue to remain that way,” Pompeo stated while talking about a US-South Korea working group in which the US is represented by Stephen Biegun, who is the special US envoy to North Korea.

“We now have a working group that formalises those processes so that we can be sure that we don’t talk past each other, that we don’t take an action or the South Koreans don’t take an action that the other is unaware of or hasn’t had a chance to comment on or provide their thoughts. And that’s the purpose of the working group that’s being led on our side by Stephen Biegun,” he underscored while referring to coordinated efforts between the US and South Korea in the Korean peninsula.

It is during the same presser that Pompeo announced US sanctions on an Iran-Russia-Syria network which sold oil to Syria’s Assad regime and generated funds for “terrorist outfits like Hizballah and Hamas”, according to an official statement.

The press statement also outlined Pompeo’s meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on November 20.

“I welcomed the positive momentum in our relationship following the release of Pastor Brunson and urged reopening additional channels to address issues of mutual concern. We are still greatly concerned about Turkey’s continued unjust detention of U.S. locally employed staff and citizens, including NASA scientist Serkan Golge. We also discussed the Khashoggi case and the need to work together to de-escalate conflict in Syria, support the reinvigoration of the UN-led peace process, and achieve a peaceful, lasting solution to the Syrian conflict,” he stated.