S. Korea regrets cancellation of Pompeo’s visit to North

Seoul: South Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday expressed regret over the cancellation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea.

Expressing regret, the ministry said that it would be significant to continue to seek ways to make talks between North Korea and the US contribute to the common goal of the Korean Peninsula’s complete denuclearization and the permanent peace settlement, Xinhua news agency reported.

It came after US President Donald Trump tweeted that he asked Pompeo not to go to North Korea. “I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump said on Friday.

“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future… In the meantime, I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim (Jong-un). I look forward to seeing him soon,” Trump added.

Following the cancelled visit, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha had a phone talk with Pompeo, who explained in detail to the top South Korean diplomat about the reasons for the “delayed visit”, the Foreign Ministry said.

Pompeo has visited North Korea three times this year — in April, May and July.

Trump said on August 20 that he would “most likely” meet Kim for a second time and that he believed Pyongyang had taken specific steps towards denuclearization.