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Pompeo downplays chance of summit with North Korea this year

Pompeo downplays chance of summit with North Korea this year
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit King of Jordan becomes first Arab leader to speak with President-elect Biden Central Asia is changing: the Biden administration should pay close attention MORE on Wednesday downplayed the possibility of holding a summit this year with North Korea.

Pompeo said North Korea has given “mixed signals” and has decided “not to engage” with the U.S. to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 

“The truth is President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE only wants to engage in a summit if we believe there’s a sufficient likelihood that we can make real progress in achieving the outcomes that were set forth in Singapore,” Pompeo told The Hill's Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Election Day has arrived Law enforcement braces for unrest after Election Day The Hill's 12:30 Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association -Trump enters debate week after NYT obtains his tax returns MORE.

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Pompeo said the U.S. is trying to hold “informed discussions” with North Korea and that denuclearization and stability in the area are important.

“But you need to have a willing partner,” Pompeo said. “And the North Koreans have chosen at this point in time not to engage in a way that can lead to a potential solution. We hope they’ll change their mind.” 

The secretary of State said other countries in the region, like Japan, China and South Korea, support denuclearization in a way that is “completely verifiable.”  

“We’ve avoided having a long-range missile fired. We’ve avoided nuclear testing. Now it’s time to get to the harder problems and secure a better outcome, not only for the security of the American people but for the people of North Korea as well,” he said.

North Korean officials have repeatedly declined another meeting with Trump after denuclearization talks stalled following a summit in Vietnam between Trump and Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnBiden rolls out national security team 6 policy don'ts for Joe Biden South Korea urging Biden to prioritize denuclearization talks with North MORE that ended suddenly last year without an agreement

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The president also met with Kim in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea last year, before nuclear talks between the countries collapsed. 

Kim and Trump met for a first summit in 2018 in Singapore, where North Korean officials showed openness to potentially ending its nuclear testing program. 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has requested Trump and Kim meet again before the November election, Reuters reported earlier this month. 

The likelihood of an in-person meeting is also unlikely because of the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said earlier this month.