August 4, 2018 / 6:27 AM / 7 months ago

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo, North Korea minister Ri shake hands

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho as South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha looks on at the Asean Regional Forum Retreat Session in Singapore August 4, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho shook hands and exchanged words and smiles at a Southeast Asian security forum on Saturday in Singapore.

Pompeo said before the brief encounter during a group photo session at the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) regional forum that he had not held talks with Ri during his visit to Singapore.

Pompeo, who has been leading the U.S. negotiating in efforts to get North Korea to denuclearize, said earlier the process of ending the North’s nuclear program would take time but that he was optimistic that it would happen.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie

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