Pompeo: North Korean Leader ‘Has Indicated to Me Personally That He Is Prepared to Denuclearize’

By Melanie Arter | June 7, 2018 | 8:07 PM EDT

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is “prepared to denuclearize” and has indicated as much to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the secretary told reporters Thursday.

When asked what opinions Pompeo has formed about Kim Jong-Un as a person having met him twice, Pompeo said, “So I haven't spent that much time with him. What I have said publicly is he has indicated to me, personally, that he is prepared to denuclearize, that he understands that the current model doesn't work, that he's prepared to denuclearize.

“And that, too, he understands that we can't do it the way we've done it before -- that this has to be big and bold, and we have to agree to making major changes,” Pompeo said at a White House press briefing.

“We can't step through this over years, but rather need to acknowledge it will take some amount of time, that this doesn't happen instantaneously, but that the model for succeeding -- security assurance; and political normalization; and denuclearization completely, verifiably, and irreversibly -- for that to take place, we've got to make bold decisions,” he said.

“And I'm hopeful that Chairman Kim Jong Un is prepared to make that decision for his country, a big shift in his strategic understanding of his security,” the secretary said.

Pompeo said the North Korean leader is “very capable of articulating the things that he is prepared to do, present clearly the challenges that we all have to overcome.”

“It's why the two leaders are meeting. It's the opportunity to lay those out clearly between the two leaders so that we can see if we can find a path forward together that achieves the outcomes that both countries want,” he said.

President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday during a joint White House press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that if things went well with the June 12 summit, he would be willing to invite the North Korean leader to the White House.

As to whether the North Korean leader has invited Trump to North Korea, Pompeo said, “So I don't want to talk to you about the conversations that have been had between the North Korean side and the United States. I'll leave that for the president to talk to, but I do want to get to -- and this comes back to the other question that you asked about the president's preparation.

“So in my previous role -- and I've said this before; you can look it up -- there were few days that I left the Oval Office after having briefed the president that we didn't talk about North Korea. So over months and months, days and days, President Trump has been receiving briefings on this issue about the military aspects of it; the commercial, economic aspects of it; the history of the relationship,” he said.

“And in the past few months, there have been near-daily briefings, including today, where we have been providing the president all the information that he needs, and I am very confident that the president will be fully prepared when he meets with his North Korean counterpart,” Pompeo added.


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