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U.S. aims for ‘main’ North Korea disarmament in two-and-a-half years: Pompeo

SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States hopes to realize “major disarmament” by North Korea throughout the subsequent 2-1/2 years, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated on Wednesday, searching for to offer assurances after a summit this week that Pyongyang will ultimately quit its nuclear weapons.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks with U.S. General Vincent Okay. Brooks, commander of United States Forces Korea, upon his arrival at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea June 13, 2018. Jung Yeon-je/Pool by way of REUTERS

President Donald Trump met North Korean chief Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday, issuing a joint assertion afterward that reaffirmed the North’s dedication to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and gave U.S. ensures of safety to North Korea.

But the temporary doc from the 2 leaders’ historic assembly offered no particulars on when Pyongyang would quit a nuclear weapons program that has superior sufficient to threaten the United States, or how the dismantling is likely to be verified.

Pompeo was in Seoul on Wednesday to temporary South Korean officers on the summit. Speaking to a small group of reporters and requested if he want to accomplish main nuclear disarmament inside Trump’s present time period, which ends on Jan. 20, 2021, Pompeo replied:

“Oh yes, most definitively. Absolutely … you used the term major, major disarmament, something like that? We’re hopeful that we can achieve that in the 2-1/2 years.”

“I am … confident they understand that there will be in-depth verification,” Pompeo stated. He added that the preliminary settlement between Trump and Kim had not captured all of what had been agreed by the 2 sides.

“Not all of that work appeared in the final document. But lots of other places where there were understandings reached, we couldn’t reduce them to writing, so that means there’s still some work to do, but there was a great deal of work done that is beyond what was seen in the final document that will be the place that we will begin when we return to our conversations,” Pompeo stated.

Critics in the United States stated the joint assertion by the 2 leaders was quick on element and that Trump had made too many concessions to Kim, whose nation is underneath U.N. sanctions for its nuclear and weapons packages and is broadly condemned for human rights abuses.

‘MUCH SAFER’

Trump, who returned to Washington early on Wednesday, hailed the assembly with Kim, the primary between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean chief, as a hit that had eliminated the North Korean nuclear menace.

“Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump stated on Twitter.

“There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”

Pompeo is charged by Trump with main the follow-on negotiations with North Korea.

“I don’t know exactly what the timing will be for our next conversation with the North Koreans,” Pompeo stated. “I would anticipate it will be fairly quickly after we return to our home countries.”

“I don’t know exactly what form that will take, but I’m very confident that by some time in the next week or so we will begin the engagement.”

North Korea’s state media additionally hailed the summit as a hit, together with highlighting Trump’s shock announcement after the summit that the United States would cease army workouts with South Korea.

Writing by Arshad Mohammed and Alistair Bell; Editing by Frances Kerry

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