KIM Jong-un won’t get sanctions relief until he proves “complete denuclearisation” has taken place – despite claims by Pyongyang, says the US Secretary of State.
Mike Pompeo has pushed back on a report from North Korean official state media that said their leader and President Donald Trump had agreed to a “step-by-step” process.
AP:Associated Press Kim Jong-un won’t get sanction’s relief until he proves North Korea has denuclearised, says the US
It was interpreted as meaning the Trump would grant concessions to North Korea along the way despite longstanding US insistence that it would not.
But Pompeo ruled that out and said Trump has been “incredibly clear” about the sequencing of the process following the historic meeting earlier this week.
Speaking alongside Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul, Pompeo says that “we’re going to get denuclearisation.”
He says that “only then will there be relief from the sanctions.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ruled out the notion that Trump had agreed to lift North Korean sanctions
Getty Images – Getty US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono North Korea highlights Trump and Kim Jong-un’s acceptance of each other’s invitations to visit White House and Pyongyang
Pompeo also defended the president’s recent tweet about North Korea no longer posing a nuclear threat was made “with eyes wide open” to the possibility diplomacy could falter.
After returning from Singapore yesterday, Trump tweeted that the world can “sleep well tonight” and that “there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”
Pompeo says Trump was referring to the fact that for the first time in history, a US president sat down with a North Korean leader.
He said Trump and Jong-un had a “blunt conversation” about changes needed for North Korea to rejoin the world community.
Reuters Donald Trump fist-pumps as he boards Air Force One in Singapore following his meeting with Kim Jong-un
Pompeo also says that Trump was “unequivocal” with Kim about the need for North Korea to return abductees from Japan seized by the North in the 1970s and 1980s.
The three-way meeting comes as US allies and South Korea seek more details about Trump’s unprecedented nuclear summit with Kim in Singapore on Tuesday.
The historic meeting did mark a reduction in tensions – last year North Korea was conducting nuclear and missile tests and Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults that stoked fears of war.
Kim is now promising to work toward a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, but the details of what is sure to be a complex and contentious process have yet to be settled.
REUTERS The duo appear to have a much warmer relationship in person compared to their Twitter spat just months ago
AFP or licensors Trump and Kim signed an agreement for the Korean peninsula to be rid of nuclear weapons