North Korea must disarm before any economic relief, says Mike Pompeo


Pompeo said the North Korean leader "asked for the meeting, the president agreed to meet with him".

"That decision will ultimately be up to Chairman Kim", he said.

The event is scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, but the North has said it may cancel if the USA insists on it giving up nuclear weapons.

To date, North Korea has taken few concrete steps beyond halting the nuclear and missile tests that ratcheted up tensions previous year.

Trump and South Korea's leader met in the Oval Office on Tuesday, and President Moon Jae-in says "the fate and the future of the Korean Peninsula hinge" on the summit set for June 12 in Singapore.

"Our posture will not change until we see credible steps taken toward the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

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Asked what he means by "complete", Pompeo said denuclearization would encompass Pyongyang giving up its nuclear weapons capability, missile capability, and the technology behind those capabilities, including engines and systems associated with space launch vehicles. The American people are counting on us to get this right.

Trump suggested the summit could be delayed rather than canceled: "It may not work out for June 12, but there is a good chance that we'll have the meeting". If the right deal is not on the table, we will respectfully walk away.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is coming to Washington to meet with Pompeo on June 4. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump was referring to a commitment to seriously discuss denuclearization.

Previous similar gestures by the North were rapidly reversed when the global mood soured.

Those remarks came days after North Korea threatened to pull out of the summit altogether if the US continued to demand the "unilateral" surrender of its nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang then accused US National Security Adviser John Bolton of making "reckless statements" for his suggestion that the North could follow a "Libya model" of denuclearisation.

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Last week, Pyongyang threatened to pull out of the 12 June summit in Singapore if the United States pressed for its unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Pompeo told the committee that it's his hope that when Trump and Kim confer, "we can get the North Koreans to make this strategic shift about how best to serve the country - that the nuclear weapons program isn't in fact the thing that keeps the regime in power, but the thing that prevents the regime from being in a place it wants to be with economic success".

The newspaper noted North Korean officials remember that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed in a Western-backed overthrow in 2011 after he gave up his nuclear program eight years earlier. "But if we make a deal, I think Kim Jong-un is going to be very, very happy".

They are expected to meet their North Korean counterparts and iron out details of the meeting.

The State Department will continue to lead worldwide efforts to denuclearize North Korea and to prevent Iran and other actors from unlawfully acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery while strengthening the capacity of partner nations to do so as well.

Also, the U.N. Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea has cleared the way for all members of Kim's delegation to travel to Singapore for the Trump meeting - even if they are on the U.N. sanctions blacklist, according to diplomats at the world body who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process was private.

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Last week, Pyongyang threatened to pull out if Washington pressed for its unilateral nuclear disarmament.