North Korea has pledged to blow up its tunnels in front of invited foreign media, saying it will destroy its nuclear test site later this month ahead of a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.
"It's good news. Every single site that the North Koreans have that can inflict risk upon the American people that is destroyed, eliminated, dismantled is good news for the American people and for the world. And so, this is one step along the way. I had a good set of meetings this past week aimed at heading exactly this direction," Pompeo told Fox News.
He was responding to a question on the North Koreans announcement a day earlier that they are going to blow up their nuclear site in 10-12 days.
"We'll have to see how the negotiations proceed. But make no mistake about it: America's interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into L.A. or Denver or to the very place we are sitting here this morning, Chris. That's our objective, that's the instate the president has laid out, and that's the mission that he sent me on this past week to put us on the trajectory to go achieve that, he said.
Referring to his meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong un, he said that they had discussions on how this would proceed. There's still a great deal of detail to be worked on. In the coming weeks, we will continue to work on that so we can be in a good spot on June 12th in Singapore for President Trump, he said.
But make no mistake about it: we've done this before, right? We've done trade for trade, moment for a moment. You give me X, I give you Y, and it has failed repeatedly. I think Chairman Kim understands that. I think he appreciates the fact that this is going to have to be different and big and special, and something that has never been undertaken before. If we are going to get to this historic outcome, both sides have to be prepared to take a truly measures to achieve it, Pompeo said.
Pompeo reiterated that the US will help rebuild North Korea.
Here's what this will look like. This will be private-sector Americans, not the U.S. taxpayer, private-sector Americans helping build the energy grid. They need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea, to work with them to develop infrastructure. All the things that the North Korean people need, the capacity for American agriculture to support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives.
Those are the kinds of things that if we get what it is the president has demanded, the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea that the American people will offer in spades, Pompeo said.
Pompeo was asked, "As part of that are we in effect saying to Kim, if you give us what we want, you can stay on and power?"
We will have to provide security assurances to be sure. This has been the trade-off that has been pending for 25 years. No president has ever put America in a position where the North Korean leadership thought that this was truly possible that the Americans would actually do this, would lead to the place where America was no longer held at risk by the North Korean regime. That's the objectives, he answered.
When I said earlier this week that I think Chairman Kim shares the objectives with the American people, I'm convinced of that. Now, the task is for President Trump and he to meet to validate the process by which this would go forward, to set up those markers so that we can negotiate this outcome, he said.
Noting that there's a great deal of work that remains, he said their eyes are wide open with respect to the risks. But it is our fervent hope that Chairman Kim wants to make a strategic change, a strategic change in the direction for his country and his people. And if he's prepared to do that, President Trump is prepared to assure that there's going to be a successful transition, he said.
We are going to enter into a set of discussions with two nations doing their best to achieve outcomes for their own people that are consistent with their objectives and goals. I think we now understand that there is the potential that there are shared objectives and our mission is to prepare the groundwork. We are pretty far along the way in doing so and we'll continue to work in the days ahead, 30 left to prepare for June 12th, Pompeo said
So, the president can have a successful outcome that the two of them can meet and see if there is sufficient overlap so that the US can achieve the ultimate objective for its people, he said.
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