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Pompeo: North Korea ‘inconsistent’ with denuclearization pledge, continues nuke production

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo conducts airborne questions and answers with the traveling press en route to Singapore August 3, 2018. (State Department/Flickr)
August 04, 2018

Just two months after the summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, during which the two leaders agreed to North Korea’s denuclearization efforts, the progress made to fulfill that commitment is in question.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that North Korea has not been consistent with the commitment to denuclearize made by its leader, Reuters reported. Several reports have indicated that North Korea’s nuclear production is still active.

Pompeo told reporters: “Chairman Kim made a commitment to denuclearize. The world demanded that [he] do so in the U.N. Security Council resolutions. To the extent they are behaving in a manner inconsistent with that, they are a) in violation of one or both the U.N. Security Council resolutions and b) we can see we still have a ways to go to achieve the ultimate outcome we’re looking for.”

A senior U.S. official said on Monday that U.S. spy satellites revealed activity at a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) factory. Activity at the facility appeared to be directed at building potentially two ICBMs.

In a July 25 Senate committee hearing, Pompeo said that North Korea was continuing its nuclear activities with the production of nuclear weapons fuel.

Pompeo was in Singapore on Friday for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) annual forum. A State Department official said that it was possible Pompeo could meet with the North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho at the forum.

Pompeo thanked leaders at the forum for their help in enforcing sanctions against North Korea.

China has been one of the countries said to be pushing for denuclearization.

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi told reporters: “China all along has believed that the consensus reached by U.S. and North Korea’s leaders meeting in Singapore is very precious. That is, at the same time as realizing denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, to establish a peace mechanism. This direction is without a doubt correct.”

However, Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that China is impeding denuclearization talks by “trying to run the clock out,” including attempting to leverage North Korean talks against the U.S. as a means of easing tariffs against China.

President Trump announced Thursday that he received another letter from Kim Jong Un. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed that one of the topics included in the letter was Kim’s commitment to denuclearize, which he made at the Singapore summit in June.

“They’re going to continue working together towards complete and total denuclearization,” Sanders said.

Pompeo has made three visits to North Korea to speak with officials for denuclearization negotiations. He has maintained that the two nations are making progress in negotiations, but advised patience as they work to build trust.