Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is “confident” that the current US president and North Korean head of state will hold a third summit to reach an agreement about wrapping up the DPRK’s nuclear programme after the failure in February.
Although, Pompeo did not name any particular date in his interview with "CBS This Morning”, he said that he hoped it would happen soon and that both Trump and Kim could have talks “in the coming months… in a way that we can achieve a substantive first step or a substantive big step along the path to denuclearisation’. He also revealed that current North-South and US –DPRK diplomatic channels have remained open despite the result of the previous meetings.
Pompeo noted that although "we didn't get as far as the world is demanding”, both Trump and Kim ended their second summit, which took place in February and failed to achieve any agreement, with a "deeper understanding of each other”.
"The positions that the two sides had, the two leaders were able to make progress in that respect”, he said.
According to the top US diplomat, the White House is "convinced the North Koreans are determined as well" to reach an agreement about North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons in exchange for the US lifting sanctions.
"Chairman Kim has promised me, he's promised President Trump he will denuclearise, now it's the mission of my team to make sure that happens”, he said, also noting that Washington states "incredibly clear" that economic sanctions on Pyongyang "will not be lifted until our ultimate objective is achieved”.
North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly is due to hold its first meeting this year on Thursday and could feature the first public comments from Kim about a second summit between him and US President Donald Trump Hanoi in February that collapsed.
He also expressed hope about Kim Jong-un’s upcoming address to the country’s parliament, the first one since the February summit, saying Washington will “watch very closely what he says”.
“I don’t expect there’ll be great surprise, but I do hope that he will share his sentiment, his sentiment that says: We – I believe, as the leader of North Korea, I believe the right thing to do is for us to engage with the United States to denuclearise our country”, Pompeo revealed.
Pompeo’s statement comes less than a week ahead of a meeting between him, Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is to visit Washington.
The much-anticipated second meeting between Trump and Kim came to a sudden and abrupt end earlier this year without an agreement after the US refused to offer North Korea any relief from economic sanctions. Trump at the time told reporters that Pyongyang "wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety" and that "we couldn't do that”. The two heads of state held their first-ever meeting in June 2018 in Singapore, which ended with a four-point declaration that paved the way toward renewed bilateral relations between the two countries and initiated denuclearisation talks, among other goals.