Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, is paying an unexpected visit to North Korea. It is speculated that the reason behind his surprising visit is three Americans jailed in NK. Pompeo is looking to bring them home.
His visit will prepare the turf for the impending meeting between the president of the United States Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In addition to rescuing American civilians, Pompeo is expected to finalize the details of the meeting between Trump and Kim. The subject of the talks between two presidents will be denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but at the moment the release of three prisoners is the priority.
During a press conference in South Korea, officials of this country stated that the release of prisoners will happen as a sign of goodwill from NK and that it’s the right thing to do.
Talking to reporters before his visit to NK, Pompeo said: “We’ve been asking for the release of these detainees for 17 months.”
One of the detainees was imprisoned since 2015 while the other two joined him last year. The world convicted the imprisonment of these men as it breaks the human rights. Through its history, North Korea often used foreign prisoners as leverage in diplomatic talks.
Otto Warmbier is the last American who was released by NK after he was imprisoned for stealing propaganda poster from a hotel. He died shortly after his release because of brain damage that couldn’t be explained. The cause of his death was never fully uncovered.
Mr. Pompeo is visiting Pyongyang second time after it was announced that Trump and Kim would meet. The relations between two countries improved in recent months after the two nations didn’t have diplomatic contacts in more than 15 years.
When President Trump announced the meeting between him and Kim world public was in shock because this will be the first time that presidents of two countries are meeting head to head.
Talking about the upcoming talks with Kim, POTUS said: “We think relationships are building with North Korea. We have our meeting set. The location is picked. The time and date, everything is picked. We will see how it all works out. Maybe it won’t. But it can be a great thing for North Korea, South Korea, and the entire world.”
Prior to meeting with Trump, Kim Jong Un also visited China and had talks with President Xi Jinping. This is their second meeting in less than six weeks. Two men met in Dalian and were pictured walking along the shore together.
Talking about denuclearization of Korea’s, Kim said that he’s hoping that it’s going to be “phased and synchronized.”
One of the questions that will arise during the meeting between Trump and Kim will be the continuous test of ballistic missiles by NK which threatened Japan. Shinzo Abe, prime minister of Japan, said that he is ready to normalize relations with Pyongyang if they decide to denuclearize and stop ballistic missiles test. Next move is on North Korea and Kim Jong Un.