Pompeo: North Korean disarmament in two-and-a-half years

Secretary of State says 'major disarmament' can be achieved before the end of Trump's current term.

Tal Polon ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo estimated today that “major” North Korean disarmament could be achieved in two-and-a-half years.

Summarizing his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, President Trump had said that Kim “reaffirmed his complete commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Detractors in the US, however, asserted that the agreement was vague in concrete details of how and when North Korean denuclearization would be achieved.

Addressing these issues to reporters in South Korea on Wednesday, Pompeo said the US hoped to achieve “major disarmament” by the end of Trump’s current term, on Jan. 20, 2021.

“We’re hopeful that we can achieve that in the 2-1/2 years,” he said, according to Reuters.

He added that he was confident the North Koreans “understand that there will be in-depth verification,” noting that not all that had been agreed upon by the sides had been “reduced to writing.”

“Not all of that work appeared in the final document. But lots of other places where there were understandings reached, we couldn’t reduce them to writing, so that means there’s still some work to do, but there was a great deal of work done that is beyond what was seen in the final document that will be the place that we will begin when we return to our conversations,” he said.

Pompeo, who is in charge of follow-up negotiations with North Korea, also said he expected the “next conversation” with North Korea to take place “fairly quickly after we return to our home countries.”

“I don’t know exactly what form that will take, but I’m very confident that by some time in the next week or so we will begin the engagement.”