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Pompeo to attend ASEAN-related meetings in Thailand: State Dep't

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP)

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations-related foreign ministerial meetings next week in Bangkok, the State Department said Thursday.

Pompeo will participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum, a 27-member regional security forum, and a foreign ministerial session of the East Asia Summit on Aug. 2, the department said in a statement.

There has been speculation that Pompeo may meet with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the margins of the ARF to break an impasse over stalled denuclearization talks. But diplomatic sources said Ri has cancelled his trip to the Thai capital.

After arriving in Bangkok on Aug. 1, Pompeo will co-chair a foreign ministerial meeting of the United States and the 10-nation ASEAN, as well as a meeting of the Lower Mekong Initiative.

Besides Thailand, the chief U.S. diplomat will visit Australia and the Federated States of Micronesia in his three-nation Asian tour, according to the statement.

In Sydney, Pompeo and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper will meet their Australian counterparts Aug. 4 for annual bilateral security talks.

Pompeo will have a separate meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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