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.
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.
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.