“Bad deal” is not an option with North Korea — Pompeo

WASHINGTON, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that a “bad deal is not an option” with regard to North Korean nuclear program and that the US would otherwise leave the negotiating table.

“A bad deal is not an option. The American people are counting on us to get this right. If the right deal is not on the table, we will respectfully walk away,” Pompeo said in his opening remarks for a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

Denuclearzation of North Korea is “our top national security priority,” he added “The maximum pressure campaign of diplomatic and economic sanctions is bearing fruit with the historic meeting set to take place on June 12,” Pompeo said. “Our posture will not change until we see credible steps taken toward the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Pompeo also discussed the Iranian nuclear agreement that President Donald Trump pulled out of earlier in the month and said he intends to meet with allies in June to discuss next steps.

“We’re not very far along … A number of discussions have taken place below the foreign minister level,” Pompeo said.

In regard to Russia and the 2018 midterm elections, Pompeo told the committee that his administration will take “appropriate countermeasures” to fight “continued efforts” by Russia to meddle.

“We work diligently on it (countering attacks to US democracy) each day we reduce threats, we take them from the battlefield, we take them from the economic sphere, we reduce them diplomatically, we work hard at it every day but I will never share with you that I believe we have accomplished that to 100% certainty,” the secretary stressed.

He highlighted that he is “incredibly proud” of the administration’s efforts against Russia that are “light years” ahead of past presidencies.

On Venezuela, he addressed the government’s decision to expel the top US diplomat from Caracas, Charg?(copyright) d’Affaires Todd Robinson.

“We will respond appropriately, certainly reciprocally, but perhaps more than that, perhaps proportionately,” Pompeo said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency