Pompeo visit to Pyongyang helpful: experts


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang has helped secure chances of a successful summit for the leaders of the two countries, Chinese experts said on Wednesday, while also warning that any hostile gesture toward North Korea was best avoided.

US President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that Pompeo was back with three detained US citizens from North Korea.

"I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting. They seem to be in good health," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

Trump also said that Pompeo in talks with North Korean officials had worked out the place and time of the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Pompeo, who first traveled to North Korea as CIA chief in early April, is only the second sitting US secretary of state to visit North Korea after 2000.

By sending Pompeo twice to North Korea in less than six weeks, Trump and his administration have shown praiseworthy sincerity about dialogue, Yang Xiyu, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times.

The rhetoric is a positive response to North Korea's expectation that the US will cease its hostility toward the country, Da Zhigang, director of the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences' institute of Northeast Asian studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Instead of trading barbs and military threats, North Korean and US leaders are creating a positive atmosphere for the meeting, Yang said.

Sound conditions for the success of the Trump-Kim meeting were created by the successful results of the inter-Korean summits on April 27 as well as the two meetings between China and North Korea's leaders, Yang said.

Kim made his second trip to China on Monday and Tuesday, meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, to discuss bilateral relations and ongoing international talks over the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In a phone call with Trump on Tuesday, Xi called on the US and North Korea to build mutual trust and resolve each other's concerns through dialogue.

"The two meetings with the Chinese leader have reassured and consolidated Kim's resolution to denuclearize the country," Yang said.

On Wednesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged parties concerned to seize the opportunity to promote denuclearization of the peninsula at a meeting in Tokyo with Japanese and South Korean leaders.

Yang noted that the next challenge is to maintain the hard-won fruits of the peninsula peace process, which calls for joint efforts and a chance of development for the North Korean people.

The fruits of the frequent and high-level exchanges proved again that negotiations and diplomacy were the best way to ignite hope with such sensitive issues, he said.






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