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Mike Pompeo tells Kim Jong Un that he must take ‘irreversible steps’ to denuclearize

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that he told Kim Jong Un the North Korea leader would have to agree to take ‘irreversible’ steps toward shutting its nuclear weapons program in any deal with President Donald Trump.

‘We use the word “irreversible” with great intention,’ Pompeo told ABC News. ‘We are going to require those steps that demonstrate that denuclearization is going to be achieved.’

Kim expressed his readiness to discuss Trump’s demand ‘and to lay out a map that will help us achieve that objective,’ Pompeo added.

Pompeo, the former CIA director who was sworn in as the top U.S. diplomat on Thursday, said his meeting with Kim was ‘a productive one’ and that he left Pyongyang convinced there is ‘a real opportunity’ for the North Korean leader and Trump to strike a deal. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he told Kim Jung Un the North Korea leader would have to agree to take ‘irreversible’ steps towards denuclearization in any deal with President Donald Trump

Pompeo's comments come as it's emerged that Kim told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit on Friday that his country would be willing to give up its nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North

Pompeo’s comments come as it’s emerged that Kim told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit on Friday that his country would be willing to give up its nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North

His comments were the most extensive yet regarding his Easter weekend talks in Pyongyang with Kim in preparation for a summit next month between the North Korean leader and Trump.

They come as it’s emerged that Kim told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit on Friday that his country would be willing to give up its nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North, Seoul officials said on Sunday.

Kim also vowed during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to shut down the North’s nuclear test site in May and disclose the process to experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States, Seoul’s presidential office said.  

Kim also expressed optimism about his meeting with Trump, Moon’s spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

Kim also vowed during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to shut down the North's nuclear test site in May

Kim also vowed during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to shut down the North’s nuclear test site in May

This satellite image released and notated by Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North on April 12, 2017, shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea

This satellite image released and notated by Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North on April 12, 2017, shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea

‘Once we start talking, the United States will know that I am not a person to launch nuclear weapons at South Korea, the Pacific or the United States,’ Kim said, according to Yoon. 

Yoon said Kim also revealed plans to sync its time zone with South Korea’s. The Koreas had used the same time zone for decades before the North created its own “Pyongyang Time” in 2015 by setting the clock 30 minutes behind South Korea and Japan. 

While Pyongyang says it will close its nuclear test site next month, Kim and Moon did not outline concrete measures to be taken to achieve that goal of denuclearization. 

Trump’s new national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview with CBS News, also aired Sunday, that Kim may have ‘concrete and tangible’ ideas about giving up his nuclear arms program ‘and we should hear him out.’

But he and Pompeo cautioned that North Korea has a history of reneging on its commitments. Bolton said that a recent absence of weapons and missile tests by North Korea ‘could be a very positive sign’ or a sign that the programs have reached advanced stages and testing is no longer needed.

While Pyongyang says it will close its nuclear test site next month, Kim and Moon did not outline concrete measures to be taken to achieve that goal of denuclearization

While Pyongyang says it will close its nuclear test site next month, Kim and Moon did not outline concrete measures to be taken to achieve that goal of denuclearization

Trump's new national security adviser John Bolton said that a recent absence of weapons and missile tests by North Korea 'could be a very positive sign' or a sign that the programs have reached advanced stages and testing is no longer needed

Trump’s new national security adviser John Bolton said that a recent absence of weapons and missile tests by North Korea ‘could be a very positive sign’ or a sign that the programs have reached advanced stages and testing is no longer needed

Pompeo said that the United States also will have to match North Korea’s actions, although he provided no details.

‘Both countries will have to do more than words,’ said Pompeo. He repeated that Trump will maintain a ‘pressure campaign’ of harsh sanctions on impoverished North Korea until Kim shutters his nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities before. In June 2008, international broadcasters were allowed to air the demolition of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the U.S. and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package worth about $400 million.

But the deal eventually collapsed after North Korea refused to accept U.S.-proposed verification methods, and the country went on to conduct its second nuclear test detonation in May 2009. 

Pompeo also said that at Trump’s direction, he spoke with Kim about the release of three U.S. citizens detained by North Korea. He did not elaborate on the outcome of that discussion.

North Korea invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities in June 2008. But the deal eventually collapsed after North Korea refused to accept U.S.-proposed verification methods

North Korea invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities in June 2008. But the deal eventually collapsed after North Korea refused to accept U.S.-proposed verification methods

North Korea ‘should look at this very seriously,’ Bolton said about releasing the trio before the Trump-Kim meeting. They are ‘very much on the president’s mind’ and freeing them would be a ‘demonstration of their (North Korea’s) sincerity,’ he said.

Pyongyang is holding two Korean-American academics and a Christian missionary, as well as a Canadian pastor and three South Korean nationals who were doing missionary work. Japan says at least several dozen of its nationals are being held in the country.

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American student, died in June 2017, days after he was released, in a coma, after 17 months of captivity.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers credited Trump’s strategy for Kim’s readiness to negotiate. But they also cautioned that the initiative could collapse, and the United States find itself in a conflict with North Korea.

‘We’re very close to historic peace, but we also are very close to war,’ Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Fox News Sunday. ‘Because if they play Trump, if Kim Jong Un meets with President Trump and goes back to his old way of doing business, we’re on a path to war.’

Republican Senator James Lankford, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, criticized Trump for calling Kim ‘very honorable’ on Twitter last week.

‘I would never use the word honorable to describe Kim Jong Un,’ Lankford said on CNN.

Kim ‘is a ruthless dictator that does public executions of anyone who . . . disagrees with him. He has literally starved his own people to help the elite,’ said Lankford.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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