UPDATE: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Says Chairman Kim Told Him Several Times that He will Denuclearize
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said NKorea’s Chairman Kim Jong Un has promised to eliminate his nuclear weapons program on at least 6 occasions and that now “we need to figure out how to do it.”
“The whole world understands the threat that Chairman Kim’s nuclear weapons present to the world,” Secretary Pompeo said Tuesday in a TV interview. “Chairman Kim’s now committed to giving them up. He said he would denuclearize. He’s told me that face-to-face, personally, no less than half a dozen times.”
Asked why the top US diplomat, who previously led the Central Intelligence Agency, would believe assurances from Chairman Kim, Secretary Pompeo said “talk is cheap.”
“What we will need to see is action, and that’s what we’re counting on, and it’s what I’m hopeful we’ll get in the months ahead,” Mr. Pompeo said.
Despite NKorea’s long history of failing to keep promises to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and continued disagreement between both sides over what the term “denuclearization” even means President Trump said he will be unhappy if the reports are accurate.
“I would be very disappointed if that were happening,” President Trump told reporters at the White House on 7 March. “It is a very early report, we are the ones who put it out, but I would be very, very disappointed in Chairman Kim.”
The US State Department’s special envoy for NKorea says The Trump Administration will not budge from insisting that NKorea fully rid itself of nuclear weapons before the US makes concessions.
Stephen Biegun Monday told a conference sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that President Trump wants a deal in which US and international economic sanctions are lifted only when the North agrees to give up all elements of its nuclear weapons program.
Mr. Biegun says that at last month’s Hanoi Summit, NKorean leader Kim Jong Un offered to eliminate a portion of his nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
He says President Trump rejected this because it would have amounted to subsidizing the remaining portion of the nuclear program.
Note: 3rd Summit between President Trump and NKorea’s Chairman Kim likely, no date set yet.