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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 PompeoMike PompeoUS intel: Saudi crown prince approved Khashoggi killing Golden statue of Trump at CPAC ridiculed online Five things to watch at CPAC 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 TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 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) CusackTrump legal switch hints at larger problems The Hill's Morning Report - President Biden, Vice President Harris begin work today Incoming lawmakers stress coronavirus relief, economy as first priority of new session 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 UnRussian diplomats leave North Korea by handcar due to coronavirus restrictions Unholy war: The few evangelicals who stood up to Trump Trump offered North Korea's Kim a ride home on Air Force One: report MORE that ended suddenly last year without an agreement

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

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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.