Pompeo talks N.Korea 'next steps' with Seoul, Tokyo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, seen during a State Department appearance on August 23, 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with counterparts in South Korea and Japan last week to discuss "next steps" with North Korea, as his trip to Pyongyang was scrapped, officials said Monday.

Pompeo had planned a short trip to North Korea last weekend but on Friday, President Donald Trump pulled the plug, saying he had not seen "sufficient progress" toward Pyongyang denuclearizing.

In descriptions of Pompeo's two calls, which were made Friday, the State Department said he had spoken about "next steps" on engagement with North Korea.

Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha "reaffirmed the United States and the Republic of Korea remain committed to the final, fully verified denuclearization of" North Korea, the State Department said.

It provided a similar readout of Pompeo's call with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

Pompeo and Kono "agreed that pressure must continue until (North Korea) denuclearizes," the statement read.

Trump scrapped Pompeo's visit amid independent reports that North Korea has done little or nothing to roll back its nuclear program, despite promises made at a historic summit in June with Kim Jong Un.

Trump also blasted China for not doing enough to help push denuclearization, but left open the possibility of a Pompeo trip to Pyongyang when the US-China trading relationship is "resolved."