Pompeo: Trump agreed to ‘alter’ Korean War armistice in exchange for denuclearization


President Trump agreed to “alter the armistice agreement” that brought Korean War fighting to a close in exchange for North Korea’s denuclearization, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

Kim “has made very clear his commitment to fully denuclearize his country,” Pompeo said Monday. “That’s everything, right. It’s not just the weapons systems. It’s everything. I return for that, the president has committed to making sure that we alter the armistice agreement, provide the security assurances that chairman Kim needs.”

Pompeo was speaking during the question-and-answer portion of an address to the Detroit Economic Club in Michigan.

Last week, Trump and Kim held a summit in Singapore, the first ever between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

The summit resulted in a joint statement that committed the United States to unspecified “security guarantees” in exchange for the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

The Korean War is still technically ongoing since it ended in a 1953 armistice and not a peace treaty. North Korea has long sought a peace treaty as a way to gain international legitimacy.

Trump and Kim’s statement said the United States and North Korea agreed to work toward building “a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula,” but did not provide specifics on a peace treaty.

Pompeo did not elaborate on what alterations to the armistice agreement were discussed.

But Pompeo also acknowledged there are still many details to be worked out after the summit.

“We still have to flesh out all the things that underlay the commitments that were made that day in Singapore,” he said.

Pompeo, who twice traveled to Pyongyang in the lead-up to the summit, also said he’d “likely travel back before too terribly long” to work on those details.

It’s “hard to know” whether Trump and Kim will have a second summit, Pompeo added.

Pompeo also highlighted a movie-trailer style video Trump showed Kim that highlighted the economic potential of an agreement, such as beachfront property.

“President Trump is committed to delivering on that part of the bargain as well,” Pompeo said.

Asked about China and Russia’s response to the summit, Pompeo said he spoke with his Russian counterpart Monday after having traveled to Beijing last week. 

“They are excited that there’s this opportunity; it’s their backyard after all,” Pompeo said of Russia and China. “To eliminate the proliferation threat, the nuclear threat in North Korea is something they have long stated they were desirous for, but there wasn’t a mode of force to drive it. So I’m sure our interests diverge in certain places there, but the core opportunity to fundamentally reshape how North Korea thinks about itself and its place in the community of nations, both Russia and China are fully on board with our effort.”

Tags Donald Trump Korean War Mike Pompeo North Korea
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