Foreign Minister Taro Kono and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed Monday to coordinate closely in addressing North Korea’s denuclearization, and to meet in mid-February ahead of a second U.S.-North Korea summit scheduled to take place late next month.
Pompeo briefed Kono by phone on progress in negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang and details about his recent meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a close aide to the North Korean leader, according to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.
The phone conversation came after the White House said Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold their second summit near the end of February at a location to be announced at a later date.
To achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, Kono and Pompeo confirmed the need to maintain U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang and continue bilateral as well as trilateral cooperation with South Korea.
Japan and the United States will also work closely on resolving the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the North in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the ministry.