Pompeo sees ‘long ways to go’ to get North Korea’s Kim to fully denuclearize

Pompeo sees ‘long ways to go’ to get North Korea’s Kim to fully denuclearize
© Anna Moneymaker

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoChina threatens to sanction US firms over sales of F-16s to Taiwan Trump moves forward with billion F-16 sale to Taiwan Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he sees a “long ways to go” to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to fully denuclearize.

“Here's what I'd say about North Korea,” Pompeo said on NBC’s “Meet the Press." “We came in. There was the risk of war. We've taken that threat down by taking the temperature down, by beginning this set of discussions. They have stopped missile firings and nuclear testing. That's all to the good. We got back the remains of some of our soldiers. That's to the good.”

Pompeo added, however, that administration officials have their “eyes wide open.”

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“There is a long ways to go to get Chairman Kim to live up to the commitment that he made to President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE and, indeed, to the demands of the world in the [United Nations] Security Council resolutions to get him to fully denuclearize,” he said.

“But our team is fully engaged. And there are lots of conversations taking place. There's lots of work being done. It isn't all visible to the public. But we are fully engaged in the process. We understand the objective. And economic sanctions will remain in place, until we get there."

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said last week Kim has agreed to take specific steps toward denuclearization. Moon said North Korea will dismantle a missile test site and launch pad in the presence of international observers, and that Kim had agreed to dismantle a nuclear complex on the condition that the United States takes corresponding steps.

Moon's comments came after President Trump met with Kim during a much-publicized summit in Singapore in June. Kim at the time made only vague promises in exchange for unspecified "security guarantees" from the U.S. While the summit has yielded few concrete results so far, the White House earlier in September said it was already at work planning a second summit between the two leaders.

Pompeo on Sunday also pushed back when host Chuck Todd said it sounds like Kim “hasn’t been fully honest yet.”

“You shouldn't take anything away from what I've said, only that there remains a great deal of work to do. And we have the patience and determination and the president's mission statement to us at the State Department to make that happen.”