US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US will use a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to demand North Korea completely and rapidly surrenders its nuclear weapons programme before it receives any economic relief، as the Guardian said.
Pompeo added he was “very hopeful” the summit would still go ahead on 12 June، a sentiment echoed by China’s foreign minister، Wang Yi. “If you want to solve the moment، now is the time. If you want peace now is the time. If you want to make history now is the time،” Wang said in Washington.
The US secretary of state was speaking in Congress a day after Trump had cast doubt on the timing of the summit in Singapore، and appeared to drop the insistence of “all-in-one” unilateral disarmament before receiving any reciprocal steps from the US. Last week، a senior North Korean official said that position was not acceptable to Pyongyang، raising doubts over whether the summit would happen.
The confusion over the Trump administration’s bargaining position has raised anxieties among Washington’s regional allies، who are concerned the US president might concede too much in his eagerness to call the meeting a success، or resort to military action if the talks collapse.
Pompeo spoke the day the Pentagon said it had withdrawn an invitation for China to participate in a naval exercise the US is hosting this summer، a sign of fresh tension. Trump on Tuesday said he suspected the North’s recent talk of scrapping the summit could reflect influence from Chinese president Xi Jinping. The US has included China in the past two versions of the naval exercise known as Rim of the Pacific.
Appearing before the House foreign affairs committee، Pompeo was asked repeatedly about his two recent meetings with the North Korean leader and what the US meant by the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula، a goal that both parties share but which is vaguely defined.