WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to leave the U.S. for Japan on Sunday but will not travel to South Korea and Mongolia on his Asian visit as planned, the U.S. government said, after President Donald Trump was hospitalized with the coronavirus.
Pompeo was initially planning to travel to the three countries from Sunday to Friday. But he will now only visit Tokyo through Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement Saturday.
The top U.S. diplomat "expects to be traveling to Asia again in October and will work to reschedule visits on that trip, that is now just a few weeks off," she added.
The announcement came as Trump said early Friday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and was hospitalized later in the day.
Concerns are growing over the condition of the 74-year-old president. He posted a video message on Saturday saying that he is feeling better, but that the next few days will be "the real test."
Pompeo's upcoming trip to Japan will be his first since Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office on Sept. 16 after Shinzo Abe stepped down due to a chronic illness.
In Tokyo on Tuesday, Pompeo and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will have a meeting with the foreign ministers of Australia and India in a move that is seen as a counter to China's growing assertiveness in the region.
Ortagus said in the statement that the meeting will "focus on pressing issues of the Indo-Pacific region."
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