Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to travel to North Korea next week, and he'll be joined by a new special representative

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces that he would travel to North Korea next week.
  • Pompeo names Stephen Biegun, a former George W. Bush administration official, as the U.S. State Department's special representative for North Korea.
  • Pompeo's trip to North Korea, his fourth, comes amid reports that North Korea has failed to make meaningful progress toward denuclearization.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea on July 6th, 2018.
Andrew Harnik | Reuters
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea on July 6th, 2018.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday that he would travel to North Korea next week to continue negotiations over the country's nuclear disarmament.

The announcement came as Pompeo named Stephen Biegun, a former George W. Bush administration official and Ford Motor Co. executive, as the U.S. State Department's special representative for North Korea.

"It's a very timely moment for Steve to join the team and come on board. He and I will be traveling to North Korea next week to make further diplomatic progress towards our objective," Pompeo said.

Pompeo said that Biegun would direct the nation's policy toward North Korea and "lead our efforts to achieve President Trump's goal of the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong Un."

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore in June. Kim agreed at the time to work toward denuclearization, although experts have said that the deal the two leaders reached falls short of Trump's claims. Trump said after the summit that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat.

Pompeo's trip to North Korea, his fourth, comes amid reports that North Korea has failed to make meaningful progress toward denuclearization.

A think tank based in Washington reported on Wednesday that satellite imagery showed that work had stalled on the dismantlement of one of the nation's key launching stations.

Trump said on Monday that "a lot of good things are happening" in North Korea and that it was likely that he would meet with the country's leader Kim Jong Un again.

"I stopped [North Korea's] nuclear testing. I stopped [North Korea's] missile testing. Japan is thrilled. What's going to happen? Who knows? We're going to see," Trump said in an interview with Reuters.

Biegun said on Thursday that the issues he will work on "will be tough to resolve."

"But the president has created an opening, and it is one that we must take," he said.