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The first photos of the meeting between Mike Pompeo and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un were released Thursday, just hours after Pompeo was confirmed as secretary of state.
The photos of the pair shaking hands in a photo op were shared by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
“Great to have Secretary Pompeo confirmed,” she tweeted. “He will do an excellent job helping @POTUS lead our efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. (photos from previously confirmed Easter weekend trip)”
The meeting held between the high ranking officials was designed to lay the groundwork for a summit between President Trump and the leader of the hermit kingdom for later this year.
Just prior to the trip being revealed, Trump told reporters that the two countries were holding direct talks at “extremely high levels” in preparation for what would be an extraordinary meeting following months of heated rhetoric over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
The president later confirmed the meeting in a tweet, saying it “went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed.”
During the expected summit, Trump said he expects to talk with Kim about denuclearization. The meeting could take place as early as June, the president has said.
Last week, the country announced that they would be suspending nuclear and missile testing, as well as closing a nuclear test site. The president said the announcement was “big progress” and that he was looking “forward to our Summit.”
The former CIA director was confirmed as Trump’s secretary of state Thursday after a contentious nomination battle on a 57-42 vote.
After the vote, Pompeo was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, a State Department spokesman said.
Samuel Chamberlain, Alex Pappas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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