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Pompeo: North Korea Confirms Willingness to Denuclearize

© REUTERS / KCNA / North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - Sputnik International
If the upcoming summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is unsuccessful, Washington will increase sanctions against Pyongyang, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said at a press briefing on Thursday.

"In the event diplomacy does not move in the right direction, these measures [sanctions] will increase," Pompeo told reporters.

However, North Korea has confirmed to the United States its readiness to denuclearize ahead of the historic summit between the two countries’ leaders, US Secretary of State said at the White House on Thursday.

"North Korea has confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize," Pompeo told reporters in a press briefing.

Presidente norte-americano, Donald Trump, com o principal assessor do líder norte-coreano, Kim Yong-chol, em reunião na Casa Branca, EUA - Sputnik International
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Progress has been made in the narrowing gap between the US and North Korean definitions of denuclearization, Pompeo added.

In addition, Pompeo said that after the June 12 summit in Singapore he would travel to South Korea and China in order to update those countries on the details of the summit.

"I will be traveling to meet with my Japanese and South Korean counterparts after the summit to continue to coordinate with them," Pompeo told reporters. "I will also stop in Beijing following the Singapore summit. I will provide them with an update and underscore the importance of fully implementing all sanctions that are imposed on North Korea."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a military parade marking the 105th birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, in Pyongyang - Sputnik International
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While in China, Pompeo will also discuss other bilateral, regional and global issues, a press release from the US State Department said on Thursday. The release also said Pompeo will travel to Seoul, June 13-14 and then will head to Beijing on June 14.

Before the summit in Singapore, Pompeo will join Trump in Charlevoix, Canada, on June 9 for Group of Seven (G7) meetings, according to the release.

Earlier on Thursday, US President Donald Trump said he is prepared to enter talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during the summit.

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed on Monday that the Trump-Kim summit would take place in Singapore at 9:00 a.m. Singapore time (13:00 GMT) on June 12.

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