Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States wants North Korea to take major nuclear disarmament steps within the next two years.
Pompeo is laying out an ambitious timeline for denuclearization following President Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. He says he won’t disclose specific timelines but that the administration is hopeful that “major, major disarmament” steps can occur before the end of Trump’s first term. The term ends in January 2021.
Pompeo is also urging skepticism after North Korean official media said Trump had agreed to a step-by-step approach to denuclearization. Pompeo isn’t being specific but says that “one should heavily discount some things that are written in other places.”
Pompeo spoke to reporters from Seoul, South Korea.
Pompeo says he’s confident that U.S. talks with North Korea will resume “sometime in the next week.”
Pompeo says he doesn’t know the exact timing but expects it to happen fairly quickly after he and the North Koreans return to their nations. Pompeo returns late Thursday to the U.S.
He says the president is “in the lead” but that “I will be the person who takes the role of driving this process forward.”
He says much more work has been done by the U.S. and North Korean that couldn’t be encapsulated in the Trump-Kim Jong Un statement. So he says teams will now work to make more progress on those items.