Pompeo Returned to Washington to Discuss Iran, North Korea -Official

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards his plane at Colonel Jesus Villamor Airbase, in Manila, Philippines. REUTERS


WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cut short a European trip and returned to Washington for meetings on Iranand North Korea, a senior State Department official said on Thursday.

Pompeo first changed his plans to have meetings on Iran after U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday imposed fresh sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. The sanctions target revenue from industrial metal exports in the latest escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Then, on Thursday, North Korea also joined the agenda, after the South Korean military said North Korea had fired missiles, less than one week after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test-firing of rockets and a missile.

Pompeo had been scheduled to visit Greenland on Thursday, but instead left London for Washington.

The tests by North Korea were its first of a ballistic missile since Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017. Since then, Kim has held two summits with Trump, but the second summit with Trump broke down.

(Reporting by Makini Brice Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)