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N. Korea's Kim yet to make final decision on denuclearization: Pompeo

North Korea 02:19 January 06, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has yet to make a decision on whether he will actually follow through on his commitment to denuclearize, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Kim agreed, in principle, to give up his country's nuclear weapons in a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump held in Singapore in June 2018.

"Unfortunately, we have not achieved that yet. Chairman Kim has not yet made the decision that he is actually prepared to execute that, and so the challenges continue," Pompeo said in an interview with Bloomberg, according to a transcript of the interview released by the State Department.

Kim and Trump met again for their second bilateral summit in Hanoi in February 2019, but the meeting ended without a deal, and their talks have since stalled.

Pompeo said there still were "many, many actions" taking place.

"But we have convinced Chairman Kim at the very least, to date, since we began these conversations, not to continue to test his longest-range ballistic missiles, the ones that threaten the United States. We have convinced him not to continue to develop his nuclear capability by testing a nuclear weapons system," he said.

North Korea has maintained a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing since November 2017.

The top U.S. diplomat said he hoped Kim would come to realize that nuclear weapons do not make his country safer.

"I am hopeful that one day, Chairman Kim will come to recognize what President Trump told him repeatedly, is that the North Korean people would be far better off, that they could have a brighter future if they would acknowledge that this nuclear program that they possess is actually the thing that presents risk to the people of North Korea," he was quoted as saying.

"It's not something that deters a threat from the United States, who poses no real threat to the North Korean people," added Pompeo, according to the State Department transcript.


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