Pompeo: Denuclearization Deal Would Allow ‘Real Economic Prosperity’ in North Korea

By Patrick Goodenough | May 14, 2018 | 4:18 AM EDT

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his former capacity as CIA Director, meets with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang over the Easter weekend. (Photo: White House)

(CNSNews.com) – In the event a denuclearization deal is struck with North Korea, the private sector, not American taxpayers, would account for the benefits that the impoverished Stalinist nation could expect, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.

On two Sunday news talk shows, Pompeo looked ahead to the June 12 summit in Singapore between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, and stressed that the initiative will be unlike anything tried before with Pyongyang.

He told “Fox News Sunday” that the previously-tried approach with North Korea– “you give me X, I give you Y” – has failed repeatedly.

Pompeo said he believes that Kim, with whom he has met twice in recent months, “appreciates the fact that this is going to have to be different and big and special, and something that has never been undertaken before.”

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Pompeo said the North Koreans in the past “have not proved worthy of their promises.”

“But we’re hopeful that this will be different, that we won’t do the traditional model where they do something, and we give them a bunch of money, and then both sides walk away.”

“We’ve watched this fail before. But the model that has been employed here is fundamentally different, and we are hopeful that we will get a fundamentally different outcome.”

Pompeo outlined a scenario that would see sanctions relief in exchange for “complete” denuclearization, including North Korea getting rid of its chemical and biological weapons and “missiles that threaten the world.”

The benefits that would result for the North Korean people would come not from U.S. taxpayers, he said, but from “our entrepreneurs, our risk-takers, our capital providers.”

He noted that North Korea was in desperate need of energy, electricity supply, agricultural equipment and technology.

“We can create conditions for real economic prosperity for the North Korean people that will rival that of the South, and that is our expectation,” Pompeo said. “It won’t be U.S. taxpayers. It will be American know-how, knowledge, entrepreneurs, and risk-takers working alongside the North Korean people to create a robust economy for their people, too.”

Pompeo did not describe his interactions with Kim in any great detail, but said he did get the sense that the North Korean leader shares Trump’s objective of “a good outcome for North Korea and its people.”

He characterized Kim as being knowledgeable, and “very capable of engaging in complex set of discussions.”

“He does follow the Western press,” Pompeo told the Fox program. “He’ll probably watch this show at some point. He’s paying attention to things that the world is saying. He too is preparing for June 12. He and his team will be working with them to put our two leaders in a position where it’s just possible we might pull off a historic undertaking.”

Pompeo visited Pyongyang as CIA Director over the Easter weekend to lay the groundwork for a summit.

Last week he traveled there again as secretary of state, securing Kim’s agreement on a date and venue for the meeting, and bringing home three Americans released from North Korean prisons.

As President Trump stressed earlier, the U.S. did not exchange anything for the three Americans’ freedom, Pompeo said.

“They came back because Chairman Kim thought it was in his best interest to do so, and we are thankful for that,” he said.

Pompeo said the administration is determined to bring home Americans held everywhere in the world. He cited Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey for espionage and terrorism, in particular, as well as American citizens in Iranian prisons.

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow

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