Pompeo due in Singapore as concerns grow over North Korea

Singapore - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to arrive in Singapore on Friday to attend a forum with Asian countries, in aims of promoting a vision of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific and to discuss whether North Korea remains committed to denuclearization.

At the East Asia Summit, Pompeo will meet his 17 counterparts to address the region’s top security issues, including the denuclearization of North Korea, the contested South China Sea, and the crisis in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, a senior State Department official said earlier this week.
Pompeo had earlier outlined the Trump administration’s vision of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, saying that it would “never seek domination" and that it would "oppose any country that does,” in what observers see as a dig against China’s activities to claim territory in the contested South China Sea.
Regarding North's Korea's denuclearization promises, concern has grown since recent news reports indicated that Pyongyang had continued its nuclear and ballistic programmes. This comes despite agreeing to the “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization” of the North Korean peninsula in an agreement with the US in June.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho is expected to attend the regional forum, however it is not known whether Pompeo will meet him during his visit.
Pompeo was expected to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as tensions flare over Washington's sanctioning of two Turkish ministers in response to the nearly two-year detention o American pastor Andrew Brunson.
Singapore is the second stop in a three-country Asian tour that has seen Pompeo meet Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, who regained the premiership in May's historic elections.
From Singapore, Pompeo will conclude the visit by making a stop in Indonesia.

Friday, August 3rd 2018

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