Pompeo addresses North Korea denuclearization in call to China

Pompeo addresses North Korea denuclearization in call to China

June 29 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exchanged a phone call with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss North Korea denuclearization, ahead of a possible trip to Pyongyang next week.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing on Friday Pompeo and Wang spoke on the phone, and during the conversation “China clarified its position on the Korean Peninsula,” South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

“We hope North Korea and the United States will be able to carry out the achievements realized at the Singapore summit and take the direction of active contact,” Lu said.

“We [also] hope North Korea and the United States will collectively reach a settlement to address concerns, and find a way to a political solution to the problems of the Korean peninsula.”

Lu also defended China’s record on North Korea sanctions.

“China has maintained the exact implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions resolutions must be carried out, and all U.N. member states should do so.”

China delivered 4,470 tons of fuel shipments to North Korea from January to April, or about 5 percent of an annual limit, according to data Beijing submitted to the Security Council.

Pompeo’s call comes a week before he may travel to North Korea for his first visit since the June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The Financial Times reported Pompeo canceled a meeting with India’s top diplomat in order to fly to North Korea.

Pompeo said Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons is the goal of the talks.

He also said he consulted past negotiators, including former U.S. six-party negotiation chief Christopher Hill, “this past week.”

“It’s an interagency effort,” Pompeo said.