Pompeo Says North Korea Could Prosper If It Makes a Nuclear Deal

Casey Dawson
May 12, 2018

The White House plans to schedule a full day of meetings between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 with a possible extension if needed, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a briefing on Friday.

"While the North Koreans say that nuclear disarmament should proceed stage by stage, taking into account reciprocal steps and in the absence of a threat from the United States, the USA side insists on North Korea's transparent and unconditional denuclearization", the expert noted.

The three men flew to Washington after their release to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was dispatched to Pyongyang on Tuesday in the hope that Kim would agree to free the detainees.

"This issue is unclear because the sides have differing positions on the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization", the expert pointed out.

"The United States and the Republic of Korea remain committed to achieving the permanent, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", Pompeo told reporters on Friday. "Conversations that involved deep complex problems, challenges; the strategic decision that Chairman Kim has before him about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he is prepared, in exchange for the assurances we are ready to provide to him, if he is prepared to fully denuclearize".

Some observers are concerned that South Korea's desire to build peaceful ties with the North may distance it over time from the USA policy of seeking nuclear disarmament at any cost. But there have been questions about whether or not North Korea and the US have the same understanding of what that means - and whether Kim is really willing to give up a nuclear program begun by his grandfather, a man he idolizes.

North Korea's former spy chief Kim Yong Chul, director of the country's United Front Department, boasted in a toast to Pompeo over lunch in Pyongyang on Wednesday that North Korea had "perfected" it nuclear capability.

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"This policy is extremely counterproductive and can undermine the progress achieved on this track recently", the statement said.

"I think there is complete agreement about what the ultimate objectives are", he explained.

Mike Pompeo noted the USA has often in history become good friends with former adversaries.

He said he had tried to persuade Kim to denuclearize by explaining that historically the U.S. had often become close partners with its former adversaries.

But he said that can only happen if the country completely denuclearizes.

The United States aspires to have North Korea as a "close partner" and not an enemy, the U.S. secretary of state has said.

After months of fiery rhetoric and increasingly strong worldwide sanctions, Trump and Kim are set to meet in Singapore on June 12 to discuss denuclearization. "Those words are important, but we'll see what they mean".

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