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(LEAD) S. Korean FM preps trip to Tokyo for talks on N. Korea

All News 15:15 July 03, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with ministry's briefing)

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is expected to visit Japan this weekend for a tripartite meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Japan's top diplomat Taro Kono on North Korea, her ministry said Tuesday.

Pompeo plans to leave for Pyongyang on Thursday to discuss details of the communist nation's agreed-upon "complete denuclearization," the State Department announced earlier in the day.

It said that he is scheduled to meet "Japanese and South Korean leaders" in Tokyo shortly after his Pyongyang visit. It did not specify their names.

The secretary's journey is intended to follow up on summit deals between President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.

He's likely to meet Kim and senior North Korean officials in the first high-level face-to-face contact between the two sides since the Singapore event.

"We think he will make a two-day visit to North Korea," Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said at a press briefing. "We hope for good discussions to pull off the speedy implementation of denuclearization and various other issues addressed at the North Korea-U.S. summit."

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha holds a joint press conference with her American and Japanese counterparts --- Mike Pompeo (R) and Kono Taro -- after their talks in Seoul on June 14, 2018. (Yonhap)

Noh added consultations are under way for the South Korean foreign ministry's visit to Japan for a trilateral meeting with Pompeo and Kono.

If the session is held, Pompeo will likely brief them on the results of his third-known trip to the North and exchange views on the next steps.

The secretary flew into Seoul right after the June 12 summit between the North's leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump in Singapore. He met with Kang and Kono at that time.

The regional powers have striven to demonstrate close cooperation on the North Korea issue, during times of sharp tensions and the ongoing dialogue phase.


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