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Pompeo: U.S. committed to N.K. denuclearization regardless of what happens there

All News 04:31 May 01, 2020

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Yonhap) -- The United States remains committed to achieving North Korea's final and full denuclearization regardless of what happens inside the regime, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

Pompeo's comments on Fox News Wednesday come as speculation persists over the whereabouts and health of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim has been out of public view since April 11, when he presided over a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party.

Asked what the U.S. knows about Kim at this point, Pompeo said he had little to add.

This Reuters photo shows U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking at a news conference at the State Department in Washington on April 29, 2020. (Yonhap)

"The American people should simply know that whatever is going on there, whatever takes place, President Trump and our administration are committed to the very same objectives we set out," he said, "which is the final and fully denuclearized North Korea that President Trump and Chairman Kim set out back in Singapore just a couple of months back."

He was apparently referring to the Singapore summit in June 2018, during which the two sides agreed to "work toward" complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for U.S. security guarantees.

Despite the agreement, and two more meetings between Trump and Kim, nuclear talks between the countries have stalled for more than a year due to differences over how to match the North's denuclearization steps with U.S. concessions, such as sanctions relief.

The top U.S. diplomat made similar comments earlier the same day.

At a press briefing, he said, "Our mission is the same, regardless of what transpires inside of North Korea with respect to their leadership."

That mission, he said, is to deliver on Trump and Kim's agreement on a "fully denuclearized, verified denuclearization of North Korea."

The U.S. is still hopeful the two sides will get an outcome that is good for the people of both countries and the world, he added.

In a separate interview with Fox News Wednesday, Pompeo also said the U.S. has not seen Kim but continues to monitor the regime closely, including for the possibility of a famine.

News reports have described Kim as being in "grave danger" after surgery or hiding out at a coastal resort to avoid infection by the coronavirus.

Trump said Monday that he knows how Kim is doing but couldn't discuss it yet. He told the media that they may soon find out then added that no one knew where the North Korean leader was.

On Tuesday he refused to comment further, saying, "I just wish him well."

hague@yna.co.kr
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