Pompeo calls questions about gaps in Trump-Kim statement “insulting and ridiculous.”
Questions about perceived gaps in the joint statement signed by President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are “insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Wednesday in Seoul, where he is briefing South Korea on Tuesday’s U.S.-North Korean summit in Singapore.
Asked specifically about verification of Pyongyang’s denuclearization, and whether it will be irreversible — objectives outlined by Trump but unmentioned in the statement — Pompeo said that “the modalities are beginning to develop. There will be a great deal of work to do. There’s a long way to go. There’s much to think about.”
“But don’t say silly things,” he said. “No, don’t. It’s not productive.”
Pompeo said the statement’s reference to “complete” denuclearization “encompasses verifiable and irreversible.”
He said he anticipated the next discussion with North Korea would take place “fairly quickly after we return to our home countries. I don’t know exactly what form that will take, but I’m very confident that by some time in the next week or so we will begin the engagement.”
While “the president is in the lead,” Pompeo said, “I will be the person who takes the role of driving this process forward.”
Koreas hold military talks.
The rival Koreas on Thursday were holding rare, high-level military talks on reducing tensions across their heavily fortified border.
It’s possible that North Korean officials during the talks, held at the border village of Panmunjom, will seek a firm commitment from the South on stopping its military drills with the United States.
The discussions were the first high-level talks between the militaries since December 2007.
North Korea lauds Kim’s summit performance.
The news on television and the front page of the ruling Workers’ Party newspaper was something North Koreans never would have imagined just months ago — their leader Kim Jong Un warmly shaking hands with U.S. President Donald Trump.
One day after the meeting between Kim and Trump in Singapore, North Korea’s state-run media were filled with images of its beaming leader standing as an equal on the international stage with the president of the most powerful country in the world — a reminder of just how much of a propaganda coup the North saw in Tuesday’s summit.
Dubbing it the start of a new relationship between their countries, which are still technically at war, Pyongyang’s first reports Wednesday stressed to the North Korean people that Trump agreed, at Kim’s demand, to halt joint military exercises with South Korea as long as talks toward easing tensions continue.
The media message to the masses was clear: This is a big success for Kim — known in the North as the Marshal — and the result of his wise leadership.