On April 18, news outlets confirmed rumors of US CIA Director Mike Pompeo meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier in April (NPR, NYT, WP, BBC). Reports claim Pompeo’s trip to North Korea took place secretly around Easter weekend (NPR, WP, BBC). Official talks at this level had not occurred since 2000, when US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright met with former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (WP, BBC). US President Donald Trump stated that Pompeo visited North Korea to organize a summit between the two leaders in June, 2018 (NYT, BBC).
These reports were a consistent topic of discussion during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the United States (NPR, NYT, WP, BBC). Abe expressed positive results from his meetings with Trump (NPR, WP). The Japanese government maintains high interest in North Korean-American relations as it directly effects Japanese domestic security concerns (NPR, WP). Prime Minister Abe remains concerned about domestic issues such as Japanese citizen abductees and the North Korean nuclear program (NYT, BBC).
Tags: north korea, Diplomacy, Wolfarth-Solano, Pompeo