U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards a plane before departing from London Stansted Airport, north of London, May 9, 2019.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards a plane before departing from London Stansted Airport, north of London, May 9, 2019.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cut short a European trip and returned to Washington for meetings on Iran and 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.

FILE - In this photo taken May 31, 2012, a furnace of the Mobarakeh Steel Complex is seen, 280 miles (460 kilometers) south of Tehran.
US Sanctions Hit Two of Iran's Top Non-Energy Exports
This article originated in VOA’s Persian service. Farhad Pouladi contributed from Washington.? New U.S. sanctions targeting Iranian industrial metals will hit two of the country's most lucrative non-energy exports, according to Iranian government data seen by VOA Persian.  President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday, seeking to deny Iran revenue from its exports of iron, steel, aluminum and copper. The measure blocks the assets of people involved in producing those metals inside Iran…

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.

People watch a TV showing a news program reporting North Korea's missile launch, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, May 5, 2019.
North Korea Fires Two Short-Range Missiles
North Korea has fired what appears to be two short-range ballistic missiles, South Korea’s military said Thursday.

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.