Pompeo: Sanctions relief hinges on North Korea’s complete denuclearization

Pompeo: Sanctions relief hinges on North Korea’s complete denuclearization

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoAs tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Trump's Huawei concession is 'the rope that could hang America' MORE said Thursday that the U.S. would not relax sanctions on North Korea until a complete denuclearization takes place.

Pompeo told reporters after meeting with South Korea's president in Seoul that sanctions on Pyongyang would remain until the U.S. and its allies can verify that North Korea's nuclear missile program has been scrapped.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE has been incredibly clear about the sequencing of denuclearization and relief from the sanctions,” Pompeo said, according to a State Department transcript.

"We believe that Chairman Kim Jong Un understands the urgency of the timing of completing this denuclearization, that he understands that we must do this quickly, and that sanctions relief...cannot take place until such time as we have demonstrated that North Korea has been completely denuclearized," he added

Pompeo's remarks apparently contradict statements made by North Korean state media following Kim's historic meeting with President Trump. It stated Wednesday that the U.S. plans to relax sanctions on the country in addition to "security guarantees" for Kim's government.

“I hope it’s going to be soon. At a certain point, I actually look forward to taking them off," Trump said, referring to the sanctions, following the summit.

“I think both sides are going to be impressed with the result,” he added. “We’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.”

The Trump administration in May indefinitely delayed new sanctions targeting Pyongyang amid historic talks between the U.S. and North Korean officials.