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NK to take ‘major’ nuclear disarmament steps in next 2 years, Pompeo says

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
June 13, 2018
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The U.S. expects North Korea to take “major, major disarmament” steps before the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday from South Korea.

Pompeo would not disclose a timeline but said the Trump Administration is hopeful the denuclearization steps will take place before the end of the President’s first term, which ends January 2021.

The Secretary of State also said that joint U.S.-South Korea military drills will resume if North Korea stops its nuclear program negotiations with the United States.

President Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. would cease its “war games” with South Korea.

Trump “made very clear” the conditions for his actions, Pompeo said Wednesday, adding that the freeze “will no longer be in effect” if North Korea’s good-faith talks cease, and that Trump was “unambiguous” in communicating this to Kim Jong Un.

Pompeo also said he was “taking the lead” on the United States’ talks with North Korea and expects them to resume next week.

On Tuesday, after their historic first meeting, Trump and Kim signed a Declaration of Friendship that, among other things, calls for the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea also agreed to shut down one of its nuclear weapons testing sites.

The U.S. on Tuesday also announced that it would cease to have its “war games,” or military drills, with South Korea. The drills are often viewed by North Korea as antagonistic and “rehearsal” for invasion of the country.

“I just think that we are now we are going to start the process of denuclearization of North Korea, and I believe that he’s going back and will start it virtually immediately – and he’s already indicated that and you look at what he’s done,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

President Trump and Kim had their much-anticipated meeting for the first time on Tuesday in Singapore, and it was the first time a sitting U.S. President met with a North Korean leader.

After more than four hours of talks, Trump and Kim held a press conference, and the President announced that the two nations had come to an agreement.

Trump said the North Korean dictator “reaffirmed” his commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“We’re ready to write a new chapter between our nations,” the President said.

The President has “developed a very special bond” with Kim, he also said.

On Wednesday, it was reported that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has accepted President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit the United States, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Trump also accepted an invitation from Kim to visit Pyongyang, the KCNA reported.

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