WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the United States will need to “provide security assurances” to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un if the adversaries are to reach a nuclear deal.
Pompeo met with Kim last week in North Korea, helping set the stage for President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim in Singapore on June 12.
Trump’s goal is to have North Korea get rid of its nuclear weapons in a permanent and verifiable way. In return, the U.S. is willing to help the impoverished nation strengthen its economy.
Pompeo was asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether the U.S. was in effect telling Kim he could stay in power if he met the U.S. demands. Pompeo said: “We will have to provide security assurances, to be sure.”
The top U.S. diplomat did not elaborate, but his comment could refer to the type of assurances North Korea has sought in the past. A statement issued during international negotiations with North Korea in 2005 over its nuclear weapons development said the “United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade (North Korea) with nuclear or conventional weapons.”
The North has said it needs nuclear weapons to counter what it believes is a U.S. effort to strangle its economy and overthrow the Kim government.
“Make no mistake about it, America’s interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into LA or Denver or to the very place we’re sitting here this morning,” Pompeo said from Washingtion. “That’s our objective, that’s the end state 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.”