President Donald Trump said Tuesday his recently confirmed top diplomat is enroute to North Korea to lay the groundwork for an historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
"Plans are being made. Relationships are building," Trump said at the White House as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to the North.
"The location is picked -- the time and the date. Everything is picked. And we look forward to having a very great success."
If it materializes, the Kim-Trump meeting will be the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with a North Korean leader.
Asked if Pompeo will return to the U.S. with three American detainees who have been held in North Korean custody, Trump said "we'll all soon be finding out".
Trump alluded to their release last week.
"As everybody is aware, the past administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned," he said on Twitter.
Despite Trump's effort to place blame squarely on the Obama administration, two of the three detainees -- Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang-duk, also known as Tony Kim -- were imprisoned in 2017 when Trump was in office. Kim Dong Chul has been in North Korean custody since 2015.
Pompeo told reporters traveling with him the U.S. has been seeking their release for nearly a year and a half, and if they are released, "it’d be a great gesture".
Asked if he will meet Kim, the North Korean leader, Pompeo said he does not know but said his team is "prepared to meet with anyone who is speaking on behalf of the North Korean government and can give us solid answers".
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Copyright Andolu Ajansi