YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was heading to North Korea on Tuesday to finalize details of a planned historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump announced the mission just minutes before Pompeo arrived in Japan to refuel before flying on to Pyongyang, and as the president declared he was withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal with another bitter U.S. adversary, Iran.
U.S. officials say Pompeo on Wednesday will also press North Korea for the release of three detained American citizens, whose imminent release Trump has been hinting at. His trip comes just days after North Korea expressed displeasure with Washington for comments suggesting Kim’s willingness to meet Trump is due to massive U.S. pressure.
Pompeo, who first traveled to North Korea as CIA chief in early April, is only the second sitting secretary of state to visit the reclusive nation.
“At this very moment, Secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un,” Trump said at the White House.
“Plans are being made, relationships are building, hopefully a deal will happen and with the help of China, South Korea and Japan a future of great prosperity and security can be achieved for everyone,” he said.