Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press briefing on Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “prepared to denuclearize” ahead of the historic meeting next week with President Donald Trump.
Pompeo also suggested that denuclearization is the only acceptable outcome of their meeting.
“Kim Jong Un has indicated to me personally that he’s prepared to denuclearize, that he understands that the current model doesn’t work,” Pompeo said during the briefing.
“The United States has been clear time and time again that the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the only outcome we will find acceptable,” he added.
Pompeo has traveled to North Korea numerous times in preparation for the summit and has met with Kim Jong Un on two separate occasions.
Since his first trip to the country on May 9, Pompeo has continued to lay the groundwork for a potential meeting and stressed that these efforts will yield a different outcome than previous administrations.
“The fact that our two leaders are coming to the table shows that the two sides are very serious,” he said. “The diplomatic model that is used today is different than past efforts. Our efforts give us hope that we can find real success where past efforts have fallen short.”
Pompeo also said that, following the Trump-Kim summit, he will meet with Japanese and South Korean leaders to coordinate further and underscore the importance of fully implementing all sanctions imposed on North Korea.
On what the administration hopes to see with North Korea, Pompeo foresees a more prosperous nation that becomes a part of the international community, he said.
“President Trump has indicated that if Kim Jong Un denuclearizes, there is a brighter path for North Korea and its people,” he said. “We envision a strong, connected, secure and prosperous North Korea that is integrated with the community of nations.”
Pompeo also took time to address recent comments made by one of Trump’s personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, who stated in a conference in Israel that Kim “got back on his hands and knees and begged for the summit.”
“I know Rudy. Rudy doesn’t speak for the administration when it comes to this negotiation and this set of issues,” Pompeo said. “I took him as being in a small room and not being serious about the comments.”
President Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet on June 12 for their historic summit in Singapore at the Capella Hotel luxury resort on Sentosa Island. It will be the first time in history a sitting U.S. president has met with a North Korean leader.