No concessions to Pyongyang during talks – CIA chief

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo stressed Sunday that while negotiations with North Korea are ongoing there would be “no concessions.” Speaking to Fox News network, Pompeo said “make no mistake about it: while these negotiations are going on, there will be no concessions made.” “The activity of this administration to disrupt the North Korean economy, to put pressure on North Korea, to galvanize the world in a way that you have countries from the Middle East to Europe and Asia, placing sanctions on the North Korean regime, those will continue and we will see how the talks and the negotiations proceed,” he affirmed.

“Never before had we had the North Koreans in the position where their economy was at such risk and whether leadership was under such pressure that they would begin conversations on the terms that Kim Jong-un (North Korean leader) has conceded to at this time,” the CIA chief went on.

Regarding the role of the CIA, he noted that the agency has an “important role as these conversations take place.” “We need to make sure that we can inform the president of the history of deceit of this regime — we need to make sure that we go into this discussion understanding those risks. The nature of Kim Jong-un himself, he’s still a very young leader, but clearly in charge of his country,” he went on.

As for the venue and timing of the meeting, Pompeo said, “The president and the team will figure out,” but “what’s most important is what’s discussed and the clarity and the strength and resolve of this president and this administration to achieve the outcomes that America so desperately deserves.” Furthermore, he told the CBS network, “We are going to work hard to make sure that we get what it is the president (Donald Trump) has set out very clearly for his entire time in office, which is the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.” Asked if the US is in direct contact with North Korea, he said “I think Secretary (of State) Tillerson has said that there are channels open.” “Rest assured, when the president enters that room with Kim Jong-un, if Kim Jong-un lives up to the four commitments that he has made, those four major concessions, the president will be fully prepared for his conversation with Kim Jong-un,” he added.

For his part, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told reporters enroute to Oman “this is a diplomatically led effort. You can see that in action.” He added, “I do not want to talk about Korea at all. I’ll leave it to those who are leading the effort, the State Department and the NSC (National Security Council), for the president, because it’s that delicate.” “When you get into a position like this, the potential for misunderstanding remains very high or goes higher,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told ABC network that “this potential meeting has been agreed to, there are no additional conditions being stipulated, but, again they cannot engage in missile testing, they cannot engage in nuclear testing and they can’t publicly object to the US South Korea planned military exercises.” Asked if there is any chance this meeting does not take place, he said “there’s the possibility. If it does, it’s the North Korean’s fault, they have not lived up to the promises that they made.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency