Foreign Minister Taro Kono is arranging a visit to the United States in early June to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to coordinate policies toward North Korea, Japanese government sources said Wednesday.
Kono is considering accompanying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on June 7 before a planned U.S.-North Korean summit in Singapore on June 12, the sources said.
Japan wants to gather information regarding the U.S.-North Korean summit and step up cooperation with the United States on resolving the North Korean nuclear arms and missile issues as well as its abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.
Pompeo is expected to meet with Kim Yong Chol, a high-ranking North Korean official who is the right-hand man of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in New York this week.
Abe and Trump agreed Monday to meet before the U.S. president’s summit with Kim Jong Un. Abe stressed the need to resolve the abduction issue.
An initial plan for Kono to visit Malaysia and Singapore on June 8 and 9 will likely be shelved, the sources said. Kono and Pompeo held talks in Washington on May 23.