Australia Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, left, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while posing for photos for the 2018 Australia-U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN) Consultations in Stanford, Calif., Monday, July 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Top US, Australian officials meet in San Francisco Bay Area

July 23, 2018 - 11:48 pm

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — U.S. talks with North Korea and trade tensions with China were among the topics U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis were expected to discuss with their Australian counterparts at a two-day meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pompeo, Mattis, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne were scheduled to hold a news conference on Tuesday at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University — the second day of the gathering.

The annual meeting between the two countries always includes discussions about security.

The U.S. Department of State said this year's talks would focus on threats in the Indo-Pacific region and cooperation to defeat Islamic State militants. China and North Korea were also on the table.

The U.S. and China are locked in a trade dispute playing out in a tariff tit-for-tat between the two nations. The U.S., meanwhile, is pushing North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs entirely.

Pompeo was recently in North Korea to continue talks. President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a historic summit in Singapore on June 12, but the North has yet to take concrete steps toward denuclearizing, nor has it returned the remains of some U.S. service members, as was promised as part of the two-page agreement signed in Singapore.

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