The dismissal of Rex Tillerson as top U.S. diplomat will have no effect on the allies’ scheduled dialogue with North Korea, an official from Seoul‘s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.
The remarks came after U.S. President Donald Trump said he will soon appoint the current head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, as the new secretary of state.
“The North Korea-U.S. summit will be held as scheduled as President Trump has personally expressed his decision to do so,” the Cheong Wa Dae official said.
|Former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Yonhap)|
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, insisted the change could rather be aimed at realizing Trump’s foreign policy objectives, which apparently include dialogue with the communist North.
The U.S. leader said he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un before the end of May when he was told of Kim‘s proposal for what will be the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit last week.
A second Cheong Wa Dae official agreed Trump’s appointment of Pompeo appeared to be aimed at enhancing his communication with the top diplomat.
“I believe the fact that President Trump tapped his close advisor as the state secretary shows that he sought to enhance the teamwork of the foreign relations team ahead of the North Korea-U.S. summit,” the official said, while also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the “sudden change” in the U.S. will not affect her country‘s close cooperation with the U.S. or their dialogue with North Korea.
South Korea and the North are also set for a rare meeting of their leaders late next month. The talks, if held, will mark the third of their kind. (Yonhap)