06:48 GMT +316 November 2018
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    In this image released by the White House, then-CIA director Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, during a 2018 East weekend trip.

    Pompeo Vows to Discuss Release of US Detainees in DPRK Ahead of Trump-Kim Summit

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    US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has arrived in North Korea for negotiations, US media reported.

    Earlier, Michael Pompeo said he would address the release of American detainees in North Korea during his visit in the country aimed at preparing a meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

    "We have been asking for the release of these detainees for – this administration for 17 months. We'll talk about it again today. I think it'd be a great gesture if they would choose to do so," Pompeo told reporters on Tuesday.

    When asked whether the summit between the two leaders will still take place if the detainees remain in North Korea, Pompeo said, "We’re hopeful we don’t have to cross that road."

    "We’re going to talk to them about it again and ask them if they would do the right thing," he added.

    Earlier in the day, Trump revealed that Pompeo was heading to North Korea in preparation of the summit.

    Current visit of the US top diplomat follows his travel to the country in April to lay the groundwork for the upcoming summit between Trump and Kim. During that visit he met with Kim.

    "Today what we’re hoping to do is – there have been discussions between that day to now, and we’ve continued to develop both administratively and sort of begin to put some outlines around the substance of the agenda for the summit between the President and Chairman Un," Pompeo said referring to Kim.

    Pompeo pointed out that Washington will not ease sanctions until its objectives are met.

    "We are not going to do this in small increments, where the world is essentially coerced into relieving economic pressure," he explained. "We’re hoping to set out that set of conditions that will give them this opportunity to have a historic, big change in the security relationship between North Korea and the United States."

    Pompeo is hopeful that a date and a place for the upcoming summit will be determined during his visit.

    The secretary said he was going to meet with the country’s senior officials, but did not know if he would meet with Kim this time.

    The US leader is expected to sit down with Kim for historic talks in May or early June, which are aimed at ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

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    Tags:
    Mike Pompeo, detainees, diplomacy, sanctions, trump-kim summit, Intra-Korean Talks, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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