US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on August 4 pledged to provide nearly US$300 million in new security funding for Southeast Asia.
The US official unveiled the figure to reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 51) and related meetings in Singapore.
The US said last week that it will invest US$113 million in initiatives related technology, energy and investment in emerging Asia which he called "a down-payment on a new era of US economic commitment to the region”.
In his statement on the threshold of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on August 4, Pompeo called for diplomatic and economic pressure on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) amid concerns that the Asian country is making slow progress toward denuclearization.
DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho has also been in Singapore to attend the ARF but there are no plans for a meeting between him and his US counterpart.
Previously, Pompeo and his Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha had a meeting on the sidelines of the ARF, during which the two sides agreed to maintain bilateral cooperation in issues regarding the DPRK.
They also discussed issues of common concern such as the share of the US forces’ burden in the Republic of Korea, sanctions against Iran and trade.VNA