Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
September 8, 2019
QUESTION: Meantime, on North Korea, their nuclear program, the talks have stalled since the Hanoi summit, and North Korea continues to test missiles. U.S. intelligence has concluded that they continue to add to their stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel as well. Are you concerned at all that Kim Jong-un is stringing President Trump along?
SECRETARY POMPEO: George, we took office with nuclear tests being conducted and long-range missile tests being conducted with all too great a frequency. President Trump and my team have been working to deliver on the promises that were made in Singapore back in June of the year before. We know Chairman Kim has continued to make the commitment to denuclearize. We are hopeful that in the coming days or perhaps weeks we’ll be back at the negotiating table with them. That’s the best outcome. It’s the best outcome for the North Korean people. President Trump has made a commitment to their security and economic prosperity. We know that we can turn around that economy.
The mission set, however, is to make sure that nuclear weapons inside of North Korea that have existed there for an awfully long time – George, you served in an administration where that nuclear stockpile grew as well – we have to make sure that Chairman Kim honors the commitments that he made to President Trump. I think President Trump would be very disappointed if Chairman Kim doesn’t return to the negotiating table or conducts missile tests that are inconsistent with the agreements that they made when the two of them were together these three times.
QUESTION: You put your finger on the problem. The North Koreans have continued the nuclear program through President Clinton, through President Bush, through President Obama. They appear to be continuing it now as well. And these short-term ballistic missile tests are improving their program, aren’t they? And isn’t that a violation of UN Security Council resolutions?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Chairman Kim’s commitment to President Trump was pretty clear. He has not yet violated that. It’s not that we don’t all wish – we’re disappointed that he is continuing to conduct these short-range tests. We wish that he would stop that. But our mission set at the State Department is very clear: to get back to the table, to present a mechanism by which we can deliver, George, what I know you share my objective of – a full, completely denuclearized and verified denuclearized North Korea. That’s the goal. It’s what we continue to work on. [Full Text]