Pompeo on N. Korea: “we’re moving in the right direction”

WASHINGTON, After meeting in New York on Thursday with North Korea Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was confident that they’re “moving in the right direction” in efforts to reschedule the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

“Today Vice Chairman Kim and I discussed how our countries could come together and take advantage of the unique opportunity that our two leaders have created through their visions of the future that they have so clearly articulated,” Pompeo said during remarks to media.

Kim Yong-chol plans to travel to Washington to deliver to Trump a personal letter from Kim Jong-un, Pompeo said.

The proposed summit, which was scheduled for June 12 in Singapore until Trump abruptly canceled it, offers “a historic opening for President Trump and Chairman Kim to boldly lead the United States and the DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) into a new era of peace, prosperity and security.” “Our two countries face a pivotal moment in a relationship in which it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste,” he said.

“In my conversations with Chairman Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang and today with Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol, I’ve been very clear that President Trump and the United States’ objective is very consistent and well known: the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Pompeo said.

Trump “has also made it clear that if Kim Jong-un denuclearizes, there is a brighter path for North Korea,” Pompeo said.

“We envision a strong, connected, secure and prosperous North Korea that maintains its cultural heritage, but is integrated into the community of nations. We think that working together, the people of the United States and North Korea can create a future defined by friendship and collaboration, not by mistrust, fear and threats, We sincerely hope that Chairman Kim Jong-un shares this positive vision for the future.” The Trump administration “completely understands how hard this problem is,” Pompeo said.

“There is a long history where North Korea has viewed its nuclear program as providing the security that it needed for the regime. The effort now is to come to a set of understandings which convince the North Koreans of what President Trump has said.” “If we’re able to achieve it, if the North Koreans are prepared in fact to denuclearize — this includes all elements of their nuclear program — if we convince them of that, then in fact their security is greater,” he added.

“That in fact the real threat to their security is the continued holding on to that nuclear weapons program, and not the converse.” There will be moments during the negotiations “that this won’t be straightforward, there will be things that look hard, and times that appear as there’s a roadblock, and sometimes perhaps even perceived as insurmountable,” Pompeo said.

“There is no daylight between the South Koreans, the Japanese and the United States with respect to our approach to how we resolve this issue with respect to North Korea,” he said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency