Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reaffirmed the U.S.’s “iron-clad” commitment to its alliance with Japan and South Korea and said that sanctions on North Korea will not be lifted until its complete denuclearization is realized.
Pompeo’s comments Thursday come amid uncertainty over what the U.S. and North Korea’s joint commitment “to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” means in practice, and doubts over Trump’s tweet that after the June 12 summit “there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”
“We’re going to get denuclearization,” Pompeo said at a press conference following trilateral talks with South Korea’s foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japan’s foreign minister Tarō Kōno. “Only then will there be relief from the sanctions.”
The Secretary of State also added that Trump’s tweet was made with “eyes wide open.”
North Korean state media on Tuesday said Trump had agreed to “step-by-step and simultaneous action” to achieve denuclearization, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports, leading some to believe that sanctions could be lifted in phases.
Despite Pompeo’s insistence that sanctions would hold until denuclearization occurred, he offered few details on how the complex process of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization would be implemented.
Read more: Kim Jong Un Promises ‘Major Change’ After First Ever Summit Between Leaders of U.S. and North Korea
When South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Pompeo early Thursday, he reiterated Trump’s upbeat assessment of the summit, saying that the world had “escaped the threat of nuclear war.” In earlier post-summit remarks, he congratulated Trump and Kim but also cautioned that “this is just a beginning and there may be many difficulties ahead, but we will never go back to the past again and never give up on this bold journey.”
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un during the U.S.-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
” data-medium-file=”https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/gettyimages-971885672.jpg?quality=85&w=300″ data-large-file=”https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/gettyimages-971885672.jpg?quality=85&w=600″ src=”https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/gettyimages-971885672.jpg?w=300&quality=85&w=542″ alt=”SINGAPORE-US-NKOREA-DIPLOMACY-SUMMIT” width=”542″ height=”361″>Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty ImagesNorth Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un during the U.S.-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
South Korea’s Blue House offered cautious assent to Trump’s controversial statement Wednesday that the U.S. would halt “war games” on the Korean Peninsula, saying the suspension of joint military drills may be necessary to assist in denuclearization talks, according to Yonhap news agency.
Trump had described the drills as costly and “provocative,” the latter a common refrain in Pyongyang, which regards the exercises as a rehearsal for invasion. But South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. have long maintained that the exercises are defensive in nature.
Read more: President Trump Says He’ll Stop Joint Military Exercises With South Korea. Here’s Why U.S. Troops Are There in the First Place
Alexandra Bell, Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non Proliferation tells TIME that while pausing the drills “may, in the end, be the right move” the decision should have been made in consultation with Japan and South Korea. “The United States should never catch it allies off …read more
Source:: Time – World