US Hopes For ‘Major’ North Korea Disarmament By 2020 – Pompeo

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The US hopes to see “major disarmament” of nuclear-armed North Korea by the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in 2020, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

Speaking the day after an unprecedented summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Mr Pompeo told reporters in Seoul negotiations on Pyongyang’s atomic arsenal could move forward quickly and would take place “most certainly in the president’s first term”.

“Major disarmament… We’re hopeful that we can achieve that in the two and half years,” he said, adding that there is “a lot of work left to be done”.

At the first-ever meeting between sitting leaders of the US and North Korea on Tuesday in Singapore, Mr Trump and Kim pledged in a joint statement to work toward the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

However, this stock phrase, favoured by Pyongyang, stopped short of longstanding US demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a “verifiable” and “irreversible” way.

When questioned on the wording of the statement, Mr Pompeo said on Wednesday that Mr Trump’s intention was to allow the US the opportunity to pursue further productive conversations on the issue with Pyongyang.

“Let me assure you that ‘complete’ encompasses verifiable in the minds of everyone concerned. One can’t completely denuclear ise without validating, authenticating,” he said.

Mr Trump yesterday told Americans they could “sleep well”, safe in the knowledge that there is “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea”.

In a series of triumphant tweets, as he flew home from Singapore, the US president hit out at “haters” who had doubted his strategy for dealing with Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump said thanks to the agreement signed by both leaders at their summit that the United States was “safer” than the day he took office.

However, critics questioned whether he was claiming victory too early, with Kim still holding a nuclear arsenal and given the North Korean regime’s untrustworthiness in the past.

There was further fallout to Mr Trump’s promise to end “war games” in the region as the unexpected announcement split opinion among Asian countries.

Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!

Source: The Independent

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