Pompeo Points to Potential Security Assurances for Kim Jong Un - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Pompeo Points to Potential Security Assurances for Kim Jong Un

North Korea has said it needs nuclear weapons to counter what it believes is a U.S. effort to strangle its economy and overthrow the Kim government

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Top 4 Reasons to Go to ZooLights
    The White House via Getty Images
    In this May 9, 2018, handout provided by the White House, CIA director Mike Pompeo (left) shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea.

    The United States is offering assurances to North Korea's Kim Jong Un as it seeks to put in motion the potential for a sweeping nuclear deal ahead of President Donald Trump's upcoming summit with the North Korean leader.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will need to "provide security assurances" to Kim if they're able to forge an agreement. Pompeo met with Kim last week in North Korea, helping set the stage for Trump's historic meeting with Kim in Singapore on June 12.

    Trump has set an ambitious goal for North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons in a permanent and verifiable way. In return, the U.S. is willing to help the impoverished nation strengthen its economy.

    Pompeo was asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether the U.S. was in effect telling Kim he could stay in power if he met the U.S. demands. Pompeo said: "We will have to provide security assurances, to be sure."

    Trump Welcomes American Detainees Freed From N. Korea

    [NATL] Trump Welcomes American Detainees Freed From N. Korea
    President Donald Trump welcomed the three Americans freed from North Korean detention on May 10, 2018, taking time to thank North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He also spoke about the upcoming summit between the U.S. and North Korea.
    (Published Thursday, May 10, 2018)

    The top U.S. diplomat did not elaborate, but his comment could refer to the type of assurances North Korea has sought in the past. A statement issued during international negotiations with North Korea in 2005 over its nuclear weapons development said the "United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade (North Korea) with nuclear or conventional weapons."

    The North has said it needs nuclear weapons to counter what it believes is a U.S. effort to strangle its economy and overthrow the Kim government.

    "Make no mistake about it, America's interest here is preventing the risk that North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon into L.A. or Denver or to the very place we're sitting here this morning," Pompeo said from Washington. "That's our objective, that's the end state the president has laid out and that's the mission that he sent me on this past week, to put us on the trajectory to go achieve that."

    Pressed in a separate interview on whether the U.S. would seek regime change, Pompeo said "only time will tell how these negotiations will proceed."

    "The president uses language that says 'we'll see,'" Pompeo told CBS's "Face the Nation." ''The American leadership under President Trump has its eyes wide open."

    North Korea said Saturday that all of the tunnels at the country's northeastern nuclear test site will be destroyed by explosion in less than two weeks, ahead of Kim's summit with Trump. Observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed, the North said. Pompeo praised it as "one step along the way."

    Trump Confident a Summit With North Korea Will Happen

    [NATL] Trump Confident a Summit With North Korea Will Happen

    President Trump says he's confident a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will happen, and he's interested in having it at the demilitarized zone.

    Mr. Trump told reporters during a news conference with Nigeria's president that having a summit at the site where Kim and and South Korea's president met last week is intriguing to him.

    (Published Monday, April 30, 2018)

    John Bolton, the president's national security adviser, described the types of steps that North Korea would need to take as part of a denuclearization process, including the potential involvement of a processing center in Tennessee.

    "The implementation of the decision means getting rid of all the nuclear weapons, dismantling them, taking them to Oak Ridge, Tennessee," Bolton said in an interview with ABC's "This Week." ''It means getting rid of the uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities," adding the process would also need to address North Korea's ballistic missiles.

    "I don't think anybody believes you're going to sign the complete ending of the nuclear program in one day. But we are also very much interested in operationalizing the commitment as quickly as possible," Bolton said.

    Bolton said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" that North Korea should not "look for economic aid from us. I think what the prospect for North Korea is to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way South Korea does."

    "The prospect for North Korea is unbelievably strong if they'll commit to denuclearization. That's what the president is going to say," he said.

    Pompeo said private-sector Americans could help rebuild North Korea's energy grid and develop the country's infrastructure. He described the possibility of American agriculture being used to "support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives."

    Jogging Guards Escort Kim Jong Un From Peace Summit

    [NATL] Jogging Guards Escort Kim Jong Un From Peace Summit

    The North Korean leader returned home from historic talks with his South Korean counterpart in a limousine surrounded by jogging security guards.

    (Published Friday, April 27, 2018)

    South Korea has said Kim has shown an interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits. But it remains unclear if Kim would ever fully relinquish the weapons he probably views as his only guarantee of survival.