Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he hopes for ‘major’ North Korean nuclear disarmament before the end of President Trump’s term in 2021 – after Trump and Kim Jong-un issued a general joint statement that included no timelines.
Pompeo put out some specifics after Trump and the North Korean dictator met in Singapore and inked an agreement that didn’t put a time limit for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Pompeo, who was visiting Seoul, South Korea following the summit, said he wouldn’t disclose specific timelines but that the administration is hopeful that ‘major, major disarmament’ steps can occur before the end of Trump’s first term.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was hopeful that ‘major, major disarmament’ steps for North Korea can occur before the end of Trump’s first term
Pompeo also urged skepticism after North Korean official media said Trump had agreed to a step-by-step approach to denuclearization.
In the joint statement, North Korea affirmed it would ‘work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.’
It didn’t lay out no terms for verification or stopping uranium or plutonium enrichment, or the destruction of nukes or a timetable for it – inviting criticism at home.
Pompeo also diminished reports by North Korea’s state-run media that Trump had agreed to a step-by-step approach.
Going into the summit, the administration said the goal was total and immediate denuclearization from North Korea, which had engaged in a series of missile launches and nuclear tests that, combined with belligerent rhetoric, rattled diplomats and financial markets.
‘One should heavily discount some things that are written in other places,’ said Pompeo.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, walks with U.S. General Vincent K. Brooks, left, commander of United States Forces Korea, upon his arrival at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek Wednesday, June 13, 2018
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un looks at U.S. President Donald Trump as Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong exchanges document with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018
Pompeo said he is confident that U.S. talks with North Korea will resume ‘sometime in the next week.’
Pompeo, the former CIA Director, had met Kim in advance of the summit, and is expected to be the point person on negotiations.
His statements on some of the specifics came as President Trump declared immediate victory – even pronouncing that there is ‘no longer’ a nuke threat from the reclusive regime that has bedeviled U.S. policymakers for decades.
‘Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,’ Trump tweeted. ‘There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!’ the president wrote.