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Never advocated for regime change in Pyongyang: Trump's SoS nominee Pompeo

CIA director Mike Pompeo said the actions of Trump's administration make clear that the administration rightfully has identified Russia as a danger to US

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo | Photo: Wikipedia

CIA Mike on Thursday assured American lawmakers that if confirmed as the US Secretary of State, he would execute diligent and firm diplomacy.

Headed to be the top American in the next few week, as his nomination moves through the legislative process, told members of the that couched in all of global challenges are opportunities.

These are opportunities to promote security, stability, and human rights in key regions, he said. "I also believe we have opportunities for increasingly robust and fair trading relationships that benefit the American people," he said.

While did not figure even once in his 13-page opening testimony during his confirmation hearing, identified China, Russia, and as the major challenges. In all of these cases, he aligned himself with the new tough policies of

However, he said war is the last resort.

"Should I be confirmed as Secretary of State, I will execute diligent and firm diplomacy, working alongside the world's finest diplomatic service, to help our confront the challenges and seize the opportunities of our time," Pompeo said.

Noting that diplomatic efforts are underway to rid the world of a nuclear North Korea, he said there is no higher diplomatic task for the State Department team than solving this decades-in-the-making threat to the US.

"The stakes are high for everyone, but I believe them to be the highest for the North Korean regime. The State Department has successfully rallied the world to cut ties and impose sanctions that have had a profound impact," he said.

"But there is much diplomatic work left to do, including supporting the President's intent to meet with North Korean leader That meeting will take place against a backdrop of commitment by our to achieve denuclearization and prevent from being held at risk by a North Korean arsenal of nuclear weapons," Pompeo said.

"I have read the CIA histories of previous negotiations with the North Koreans, and am confident that we will not repeat the mistakes of the past. President Trump isn't one to play games at the negotiating table - and I won't be either," he said.

Russia, he alleged, continues to act aggressively, enabled by years of soft policy toward that aggression. "That's now over. The list of this administration's actions to raise the cost for is long. We are rebuilding our already strong military and recapitalizing our nuclear deterrent," he said.

The has imposed tough sanctions and expelled more Russian diplomats and intelligence officers from the US than at any time since the Cold War.

Pompeo said the actions of this administration make clear that President Trump's national security strategy, rightfully, has identified as a danger to US.

Iran, he alleged, has been on the march and has paid too low a price for its dangerous behavior.

"Our administration has developed a strategy to counter that will raise that cost. The issues surrounding Iran's proliferation threat are real and we, along with our allies, must deal with the long-term risk that its capability presents," he said.

"But we cannot let the nuclear file prevent us from acting against Iran's cyber efforts or its attempts to provide missiles to the Houthis to attack and Americans who travel there. Iran's activities in Syria, and threaten the very existence of Israel, and the global reach of Hezbollah threatens us right here in the homeland," he asserted.

Pompeo said even while has reestablished a position of strength in its diplomatic relationship, continues its concerted and coordinated effort to compete with the in diplomatic, military, and economic terms.

"For years, through IP theft and coercive technology transfer, has exploited weak US trade policy and leeched wealth and secrets from our economy. Militarily, it continues its provocation in the South and Seas, in cyberspace, and even in outer space. This administration is determined to work diplomatically with the Chinese in an effort to develop a more productive bilateral partnership," he said.

"We have been pleased with China's support of our efforts to apply pressure on the North Korean regime, but it must do more. We have never advocated change in regime in The State Department must be at the center of formulating and executing our China policy," he added.

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 23:08 IST