- Mike Pompeo, who was just confirmed as secretary of state, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this month.
- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted pictures of the two greeting each other.
Mike Pompeo’s unannounced trip to North Korea during Easter weekend took many by surprise, and on Thursday, the White House gave the public a souvenir of the trip – a photo of the newly minted secretary of state shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted two pictures of the two shaking hands in what could be a crucial primer for the upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and Kim in late May or early June.
Great to have Secretary Pompeo confirmed. He will do an excellent job helping @POTUS lead our efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. (photos from previously confirmed Easter weekend trip) pic.twitter.com/o4RNDKVmah
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) April 26, 2018
Pompeo, who was CIA director at the time, visited North Korea as part of Trump’s advance envoy to lay the groundwork for the highly-anticipated talks between Trump and Kim, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss the regime’s nuclear weapons program, two sources familiar with the situation said in a previous Washington Post report.
Pompeo, who was confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate on Thursday, privately described Kim as “a smart guy who’s doing his homework,” according to a US official.
US officials have previously met with their North Korean counterparts over the years, but Pompeo’s meeting with Kim would be the first of its kind since secretary of state Madeleine Albright held discussions with former leader Kim Jong Il in 2000.
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