Trump Must Provide Kim Jong Un With Comfort, Security for Successful North Korea Summit, Pompeo Says

The Trump administration must provide North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with "comfort and security" in order to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

"Ensuring Chairman Kim that we want good things for the North Korean people, we have a good chance to get denuclearization," Pompeo said, adding that the key to successful negotiations with North Korea is to convince the rogue regime that it will remain in power if it gives up nuclear weapons.

President Donald Trump was scheduled to meet with Kim Jong Un to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons program on June 12 in Singapore, but recently leaders of both countries have cast doubt on whether the meeting will take place. During a meeting with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday, Trump said that discussions about whether to hold the summit were still ongoing.

"We'll see what happens. There are certain conditions we want to happen. I think we'll get those conditions. And if we don't, we won't have the meeting," Trump said.

Meanwhile, North Korea has clearly stated that it does not want to hold the meeting if the condition for its success is complete denuclearization. North Korean media also deployed harsh rhetoric in response to joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, which take place each spring. And most recently, a delegation from North Korea skipped a scheduled meeting to plan the summit in Singapore.

But Pompeo, who has traveled to North Korea twice and met with Kim Jong Un, said he is optimistic the meeting will go forward.

"Our eyes are wide open to the lessons of history, but we're optimistic that we can achieve an outcome that will be great for the world," Pompeo said. "Our posture will not change until we see credible steps taken toward the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

Likewise, officials from South Korea have also suggested that the meeting will likely go forward after the U.S. and South Korea finish joint military exercises. On Tuesday, South Korean president Moon appeared to use flattery to persuade Trump that the meeting must go forward.

"Thanks to your vision of achieving peace through strength, as well as your strong leadership, we're looking forward to the first-ever U.S.–North Korea summit. And we find ourselves standing one step closer to the dream of achieving complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and world peace," Moon told Trump on Tuesday.

"All this was possible because of you, Mr. President. And I have no doubt that you will be able to complete—accomplish a historic feat that no one had been able to achieve in the decades past."

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In this undated handout provided by the White House, CIA director Mike Pompeo, left, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pompeo, now confirmed as Secretary of State, spoke with Kim for more than an hour during a secret visit over Easter weekend. The White House via Getty Images
Trump Must Provide Kim Jong Un With Comfort, Security for Successful North Korea Summit, Pompeo Says | World