Washington: The second US-North Korea summit will take place by the end of February in Asia, the United States confirmed on Wednesday (local time).
Without disclosing the exact location for the summit, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Fox News that he had dispatched a team to Asia to lay the “foundations” for the meeting.
“They’re headed that way now to lay the foundations for what I hope will be a substantial, additional step towards the path for, not only denuclearization of the peninsula, but a brighter future for the North Korean people,” he said. Previously, there have been speculations that Vietnam has been finalised as the venue for the second summit.
“I think we’ll have a summit at the end of the month, that’s the plan. That’s what the North Koreans have now agreed to. That’s what we’ve agreed to with them as well,” Pompeo added.
The Secretary of State further put forth that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has told the United States that he’s “prepared” to denuclearise.
“I think it took President Trump to convince Chairman Kim that of all the commitments he made this past June in Singapore, now it’s time for my team and all of the United States government to work with the North Koreans to execute that and to deliver on our commitment to denuclearize that peninsula,” he highlighted.
US President Donald Trump, in what was hailed as a pathbreaking initiative across all quarters, held the first joint US-North Korea summit alongside Kim in Singapore’s Sentosa island in June last year. Both the sides put forth their resolution in seeing a denuclearised Korean peninsula amongst other things.
The United States and North Korea’s relations had recently reached a stalemate due to stalled talks between the nations, which was a result of differing views on sanctions against Pyongyang.
North Korea has called for relief in sanctions for its efforts towards denuclearisation, while the United States has been resolute in providing sanctions relief once complete denuclearisation is achieved.
In fact, North Korea has again renewed its demands for relief in sanctions in the run-up to the second summit.
“Improvement in relations and sanctions cannot go side by side. If the basis of improvement in relations is respect and trust, then it can be said that the basis of sanctions is hostility and confrontation,” Yonhap News Agency quoted the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Rodong Sinmun, as stating.