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(LEAD) Pompeo cancels visit to S. Korea after Trump's virus diagnosis

All News 11:31 October 04, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details throughout; ADDS photos)

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a planned visit to South Korea, the State Department announced Sunday, after President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

The State Department released an update on Pompeo's planned Asia visit, which included a single travel itinerary to Tokyo from Sunday to Wednesday.

The update did not include the previously announced trips to South Korea and Mongolia.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo answers reporters' questions during a press conference in Seoul after a trilateral meeting with his counterparts from South Korea and Japan in this June 14, 2018, file photo. (Yonhap)

The State Department earlier said the top U.S. diplomat would visit South Korea for a two-day stay starting Wednesday after stopping by Ulaanbaatar following his trip to Tokyo, where he will attend a four-way meeting with his counterparts from Australia, India and Japan in what is known as the Quad.

"Secretary Pompeo expects to be traveling to Asia again in October and will work to reschedule visits on that trip, that is now just a few weeks off," the statement said.

Seoul's foreign ministry had said South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Pompeo were set to hold talks Thursday to discuss bilateral relations, the Korean Peninsula situation and regional and global issues. Pompeo was also expected to pay a courtesy call to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) poses for photos with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha during their meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in Palo Alto near San Francisco on Jan. 14, 2020, in this file photo provided by Kang's ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The last time Pompeo visited Seoul was in June 2019, when he accompanied U.S. President Donald Trump to the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The announcement of Pompeo's Asia visit rescheduling was made two days after Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, tested positive for the new coronavirus.

On Friday, Moon sent a message to Trump and the American first lady, wishing for their quick recovery from COVID-19.

odissy@yna.co.kr
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