From left to right: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and the Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha pose for photographs during their meeting at Iikura Guest House in Tokyo on July 8, 2018. Pompeo spoke over the phone on Aug 24, 2018 with foreign ministers of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan to discuss the next step on the engagement with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). (ANDREW HARNIK / POOL / AFP)
WASHINGTON - US State Department said on Monday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on last Friday spoke over the phone with foreign ministers of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan to discuss the next step on the engagement with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Pompeo and ROK's foreign minister "pledged to maintain close coordination and agreed that pressure must continue until the DPRK denuclearizes"
According to an announcement issued by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, Pompeo and ROK's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha "reaffirmed the United States and the Republic of Korea remain committed to the final, fully verified denuclearization" of the DPRK.
The two diplomats also "pledged to maintain close coordination and agreed that pressure must continue until the DPRK denuclearizes," read the statement.
In a separate statement also issued by Nauert, Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also reaffirmed their commitment to the DPRK's final denuclearization, and "agreed that pressure must continue until the DPRK denuclearizes."
Pompeo and Kono "affirmed the strength of the US-Japan Alliance and vowed to continue working closely together to address common challenges, seize shared opportunities, and advance the interests of both the United States and Japan" in the region, read the statement.
US President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he had asked Pompeo to cancel his upcoming trip to the DPRK, just one day after Pompeo said he and Stephen Biegun, the US new special envoy for the DPRK, will travel to Pyongyang the following week "to make further diplomatic progress towards our objective."
Pompeo and Japan's foreign minister reaffirmed their commitment to the DPRK's final denuclearization, and "agreed that pressure must continue until the DPRK denuclearizes"
Speaking of the call between Pompeo and Kang, ROK's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that "Pompeo explained in detail the background behind the postponement of his visit to North Korea."
The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea.
In response, Kang expressed regret over the postponement of the visit, "citing the unswerving commitment of the ROK and the US to a thorough implementation of the measures agreed upon at the inter-Korean and US-North Korea summit talks."
She also proposed that ROK and the US side, "while maintaining the momentum of dialogue, continue efforts to achieve denuclearization and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula," the statement read.
In the joint statement after his June 12 meeting in Singapore with DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un, Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, while Kim reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.