Pompeo confident North Korea understands U.S. demands

Secretary of State expresses confidence that North Korea understood the scope of the U.S. desire for complete denuclearization.

Ben Ariel ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday expressed confidence that North Korea understood the scope of the U.S. desire for complete denuclearization as the two countries negotiate after President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“We’ve been pretty unambiguous in our conversations about what we mean when we say complete denuclearization,” Pompeo told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on funding for the State Department, according to Reuters.

Pompeo said he would be leading the ongoing talks with Pyongyang, but declined to discuss details. “They’re watching this hearing,” he said.

Trump and Kim met in Singapore two weeks ago. Following their 45-minute meeting, the two sat down for a signing ceremony, putting their signatures to a document both sides described as “historic”, without revealing any details.

After the signing, Trump held a press conference at which he said the agreement included a commitment to achieve total denuclearization of Korea, with promises to pursue “vigorous negotiations” to that end.

While Trump, upon returning from the summit in Singapore, tweeted that Pyongyang “no longer” posed a nuclear threat, the White House last week announced that North Korea remains an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States.

In a routine notice to Congress, the Trump administration described the threat as reasoning for keeping sanctions in place on North Korea.

Pompeo was questioned about Trump’s saying and explained that the President had reduced the threat, by reducing tensions. “I think his point was a fair one. For the moment, we have reduced risk,” Pompeo told the subcommittee, according to Reuters.