Pavlich: Pompeo: The man for the job on North Korea

Pavlich: Pompeo: The man for the job on North Korea
© Greg Nash

The much-anticipated summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is in the history books. It ended with a signed agreement from the two leaders, who sat side-by-side with their respective flags behind them and pledged to move the relationship forward in order to completely denuclearize the peninsula.

“Mr. Chairman, it’s a great honor to be with you. And I know that we will have tremendous success together, and we will solve a big problem, a big dilemma that, until this point, has been unable to be solved. I know that, working together, we will get it taken care of. So it’s a great honor,” President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE said at the signing ceremony early Tuesday morning.


“We overcame all kinds of skepticism and speculations about this summit and I believe that this is good prelude for peace,” Kim responded.

Time will tell if Kim meant what he said.

In the lead up to the summit, newly minted Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Pompeo: 'We've not been successful' in changing US-Russia relations Positive Moon-Kim summit creates a diplomatic opening in North Korea MORE played a crucial role in its success and President Trump’s preparation. He activated the proper resources in the State Department for the occasion and regularly worked with White House national security adviser John Bolton to brief President Trump with the best intelligence. In addition, he ensured the logistics of the summit would go smoothly.

The day before the summit was rescheduled, after being abruptly canceled the week before when North Korean Vice Minister Choe Son Hui again threatened the U.S. with nuclear war, Pompeo met with a Kim’s right-hand man and a small delegation in New York. There, he hammered out expectations ahead of a trip to the White House. During that trip, a personal letter was delivered to President Trump on behalf of Kim and by the end of the day the summit was announced as back on schedule.

As he has done throughout his life, Pompeo executed and delivered with excellence.

“We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future productive talks. In light of how many flimsy agreements the United States has made in previous years, this president will ensure that no potential agreement will fail to adequately address the North Korean threat,” Pompeo said just hours ahead of President Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, adding that the U.S. views the situation as a mission of peace. “The ultimate objective we seek from diplomacy with North Korea has not changed. The complete and verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the only outcome that the United States will accept. Sanctions will remain until North Korea completely and verifiably eliminates its weapons of mass destruction programs. If diplomacy does not move in the right direction — and we are hopeful that it will continue to do so — those measures will increase.”

While general and light on details, enforcement of the four pillars lined out by the agreement signed by President Trump and Chairman Kim is crucial to future talks: advancing new relations for peace and prosperity, building lasting and stable peace on the Korean Peninsula, working toward complete denuclearization, and allowing the U.S. to recover the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action during the Korean War.

Just as he played a central role leading up the summit, his position will prove even more essential in the months and years to follow.

As the former director of the CIA, North Korean officials have met their match. According to the Trump administration, the days of the regime lying, cheating and threatening their way into concessions are over. With his vast intelligence and military background, Pompeo knows better than anybody how Kim and his men operate. He’s studied them for years and pored over the most sensitive intelligence available. He knows how to beat them at their own game. Most importantly, he has President Trump’s trust.

“Secretary Pompeo has been really doing a fantastic job — his staff, everybody,” Trump said during a press conference before leaving Singapore. “As we do that [work toward denuclearization], we’re going to have a lot of people there, and we’re going to be working with them on a lot of other things.  But this is complete denuclearization of North Korea, and it will be verified.”

Let the denuclearization and verification begin.

Pavlich is the editor for and a Fox News contributor.