As President Trump and Kim Jong Un prepare for their summit in Singapore, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drew a line in the sand on removal of sanctions from the rogue dictatorship. Pompeo said that the United States would not remove sanctions unless Kim agrees to denuclearize.
Per CNBC, Mr. Pompeo warned that the United States will not accept a meaningless agreement. “In light of how many flimsy agreements the United States has made in previous years, this president will ensure that no potential agreement will fail to ultimately address the North Korean threat,” he said. The “ultimate” U.S. objective remains “the complete, and verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
That is “the only outcome that the United States will accept,” Pompeo said, adding that more sanctions could be added if North Korea does not comply with US demands.
Historically, “denuclearization” has meant different things to the US and North Korea. The US wants North Korea to eradicate its nuclear program and arsenal permanently. The North Koreans want to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula with the removal of US troops.
Pompeo hinted that the US may be willing to make a peace agreement with North Korea in exchange for an agreement on disarmament. “President Trump recognizes Chairman Kim's desire for security and is prepared to ensure a North Korea free of weapons of mass destruction is also a secure North Korea,” Pompeo said.
In response to a question, Pompeo answered that the US is “prepared to take actions that will provide [North Korea] sufficient certainty that they can be comfortable that denuclearization isn't something that ends badly for them.”
“This is truly a mission of peace,” Pompeo told the media, adding that the US is “hopeful” that the meeting between Trump and Kim will set the tone for future productive negotiations.
[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr]