Pompeo expresses concern over North Korea missile tests

Pompeo expresses concern over North Korea missile tests
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoJudge rules American-born woman who joined ISIS not a US citizen Human rights: Help or hindrance to toppling dictators? The Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing MORE said Tuesday that he is concerned by North Korea’s recent tests of short-range ballistic missiles and conceded that denuclearization talks with Pyongyang have suffered setbacks. 

“We haven’t gotten back to the table as quickly as we would have hoped but we’ve been pretty clear all along, we know there will be bumps along the way,” Pompeo said on “CBS This Morning” when asked about the current status of negotiations.

The interview came after the South Korean military said North Korea launched two projectiles on Friday, the latest in a series of tests of short-range missiles or other projectiles by Pyongyang since the end of July.


Pompeo said North Korea’s testing of short-range missiles raised concerns, but pointed to North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnHuman rights: Help or hindrance to toppling dictators? North Korea says US offered to resume nuclear talks in December North Korea issues warning over US-South Korea drills MORE's apparent openness to denuclearize.

“I wish that they would not, but in the end, Chairman Kim made a commitment to President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE in Singapore in June of last year where he said that he was prepared to denuclearize,” Pompeo said, referring to the first summit between Trump and Kim in 2018. 

“Our team’s effort at the State Department is to deliver that on behalf of the American people,” Pompeo continued. “President Trump’s focus is exactly that — to keep the American people safe.”

Trump and Kim participated in a second summit in February that ended early with no agreement on denuclearization. In June, Trump became the first American president to visit the Demilitarized Zone. 

Trump downplayed the test launches in early August, saying they were not a violation of the Singapore agreement but conceded there may be a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. 

Trump also predicted Kim, whom he called a friend, would come to the table. 

"Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust, there is far too much for North Korea to gain - the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, is unlimited," Trump tweeted on Aug. 2. 

Pompeo said Tuesday that if the U.S. can broker a successful agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, it would be better for the North Korean people and the world.  

Pompeo is scheduled to address the United Nations Security Council later Tuesday in New York. His speech is expected to focus on Iran.