Pompeo says US sanctions will remain until N. Korea’s denuke

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Washington would continue to enforce sanctions on Pyongyang until it fulfills its commitment to denuclearization.

“Sanctions will remain in place until final, fully verified denuclearization,” Pompeo told a joint press conference in Tokyo with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha after their trilateral meeting.

Arriving here on Saturday evening following his two-day visit to Pyongyang, Pompeo briefed his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the results of his talks in North Korean Vice Chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party Kim Yong-chol. The Secretary of State described his talks with Kim were “good faith” and “very productive,” adding that North Korea reaffirmed its commitment to its complete denuclearization.

“While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the relaxation of the existing sanctions regime,” he said. “There will be a verification connected to the complete denuclearization. It’s what US President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim (Jong-un) both agreed to,” Pompeo said, referring to their historic summit in Singapore on June 12.

The US top diplomat also responded to a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement issued after his departure on Saturday, which accused the US of making unilateral and “gangster-like” demands for immediate nuclear disarmament. “If those requests were gangster-like, then the world is a gangster because there was a unanimous decision at the UN Security Council about what needs to be achieved,” he said.

Meanwhile, top diplomats of the three countries agreed to keep sanctions against North Korea until its full denuclearization tied to verification. “We reaffirmed our trilateral cooperation to push for North Korea’s complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all nuclear weapons and missiles,” Kono told the joint briefing.

For her part, Kang insisted that the North should abide by the UN Security Council resolutions, saying, “We agreed to maintain the UN Security Council sanctions until North Korea’s complete denuclearization”.

Source: Kuwait News Agency