Pompeo 'confident' there will be third North Korean summit

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoState Department removes NPR reporter from Pompeo trip Overnight Defense: US military jet crashes in Afghanistan | Rocket attack hits US embassy in Baghdad | Bolton bombshell rocks impeachment trial Please stop calling the impeachment proceeding a trial — it's a charade MORE said he is “confident” there will be another summit with North Korea to negotiate denuclearization after talks collapsed in Vietnam two months ago. 

“I’m confident there will be,” Pompeo told CBS News in an interview Friday when asked if there would be a third summit between President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He added that he did not know when such a meeting could occur, though he hopes it will happen “soon.” 

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“Look, we came out of Hanoi with a deeper understanding of each other, the positions that the two sides had. The two leaders were able to make progress in that respect. We didn’t get as far as the world is demanding,” he added.

Trump and Kim appeared to be edging closer to an agreement regarding North Korea’s nuclear disarmament in Hanoi in February, but disagreements over sanctions relief for the Asian nation scuttled any deal. The two leaders had also met in Singapore in 2017 to assert their commitment to reaching a deal, though the meeting resulted in few specifics. 

Pompeo said he was not discouraged by the Hanoi summit’s outcome, adding there was still hunger on both sides to make progress on the issue.

“It’s a negotiation, and we’ve always known this was going to take a while, so I don’t know that I was disappointed. You always hope you’ll make progress faster, better. You know that in every interaction you have,” Pompeo said. 

“We’re determined. I’m convinced the North Koreans are determined as well. Chairman Kim has promised me, he’s promised President Trump he will denuclearize. Now it’s the mission of my team to make sure that that happens.” 

The secretary of State maintained that the administration still had no intention of lifting any sanctions on North Korea until complete denuclearization could be verified. 

Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet at the White House next week to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program, coinciding with a national address Kim will deliver to the North Korean people.