Pompeo to Host 3-Way Talks with Japan's Kono, S. Korea's Kang

Politics

Washington, July 30 (Jiji Press)--U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that he intends to hold a three-way meeting in Bangkok with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea, which have seen their relations deteriorate over trade and other issues.

"I'll meet with (South Korean) Foreign Minister Kang (Kyung-wha), I'll meet with (Japanese) Foreign Minister (Taro) Kono, and then I'll meet with the two of them together," Pompeo told reporters aboard a flight bound for the Thai capital, where they are slated to attend a series of meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

"We will encourage them to find a path forward," he said, stressing that Japan and South Korea are both "great partners" of the United States. "I hope we'll have a good conversation and we can help get to a good place."

But a U.S. Department of State official said that Washington does not plan to "mediate" the conflict between the two Asian nations, while noting that the United States will "continue to encourage our two close allies to resolve" their issues through "sincere discussions."

Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his readiness to mediate between Tokyo and Seoul after a request by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, saying to reporters at the White House, "If they need me, I'm there."

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