Sunday, 23 September, 2018


Pompeo: US hopes for 'major' North Korea nuclear disarmament by 2020

"Jimmy Kimmel Live!"ABC
Hannah Rogers | 14 June, 2018, 19:12

"Each of those three countries has also acknowledged that it's important that the sanctions regime that is in place today remain in place until such time as that denuclearization is, in fact, complete", Pompeo told reporters Thursday in Beijing following talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. But South Korea, Japan, and the US have long maintained that the exercises are defensive in nature.

Tough sanctions will remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearization, the USA secretary of state said on Thursday, apparently contradicting the North's view that the process agreed at this week's summit would be phased and reciprocal.

After the summit, President Trump surprised allies in the region by calling the joint military exercises with South Korea "provocative" and saying they will no longer be held, as long as North Korea continues to make progress toward denuclearization.

"The summit created this enormous historic opportunity for us to move forward and will fundamentally really shape the relationship between the United States and North Korea", he said. "I think he's going to start now", he said.

"Chairman Kim Jong-un understands the urgency of the timing of completing this denuclearisation, and understands we must do this quickly", Pompeo said.

In an interview recorded in Singapore but broadcast on the US television channel, Fox News, late on Wednesday in the US, Trump said that a withdrawal of US troops from South Korea had not been discussed at the summit.

Moon has championed engagement with the North, and the agreement's language on North Korea's nuclear program was similar to what the leaders of North and South Korea came up with at their own summit in April.

Also on Thursday, North and South Korea held their first military talks in more than a decade.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he expects North Korea to take steps toward major nuclear disarmament within the next two-and-a-half years. According to the Washington Post, North Korea's definition of "denuclearization" is different from Trump's. That kind of thing is very threatening to North Korea.

"Make no mistake, we are going to maintain the readiness of our forces in South Korea", said one United States official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "I just tried to answer the emails and try to get out in front and say, 'I had nothing to do with this'". Baier noted that Trump had praised Kim as "a very talented person" and had said they have good chemistry.

Trump said the world is "safer" following the summit with Kim. "There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea". President (Barack) Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most unsafe problem.

"We're going to denuke North Korea", Trump told VOA contributor Greta Van Susteren, adding that USA troops stationed in South Korea will remain in place, but announcing one concession long-sought by North Korea was included in the document signed earlier in the day. Now, he's being called "the president of the United States of America". For the USA, its 30,000 or so troops in South Korea represent a foothold on the Asian mainland and a major check on China's growing global ambitions.

Pompeo agreed, saying "We've seen power when China and the USA work together and don't treat the relationship as a zero sum".

He said he was confident that the North Koreans "understand what we're prepared to do, [the] handful of things we're not likely to do". -South Korean exercises appeared off-limits under the new guidance.

"The U.S. -South Korea joint exercises and U.S. forces in South Korea play significant roles for the security in East Asia", Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters Wednesday. "New history has been made, and China welcomes and supports it", said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry.

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