U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday Washington is prepared to walk away from nuclear talks with North Korea if an upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un heads in the wrong direction.
Journalists from the U.S., the UK, Russia, China, and South Korea gathered in Wonsan, North Korea, on Wednesday before being told to ship out to the test site.
Less than two weeks ago, American negotiators were stood up by North Korean officials at a meeting meant to discuss arrangements for the summit, according to the Post.
The US secretary of state told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that he was "hopeful" that the meeting would go ahead.
Even if the summit seems unlikely at the moment, it will probably be held on June 12th in Singapore as both sides have too much to lose if the meeting is canceled.
"We're optimistic that we can achieve an outcome that would be great for the world", Pompeo said. The US president said that Kim should, for his own good, strike a deal to get rid of its nuclear weapons in exchange for economic opportunities.
While Pompeo testified, global journalists left Wednesday on a marathon journey to a North Korea nuclear test site, after Pyongyang belatedly cleared a number of South Korean media to witness what it says will be the dismantling of its only nuclear test facility.
Directional signs bearing North Korean and USA flags are seen near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, April 25, 2018.
Pompeo said a US -led sanctions pressure campaign on Pyongyang would not be eased until North Korea gives up nuclear weapons and that the United States had no intention of making concessions to Pyongyang.
On the other hand, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo adopted a more positive stance by stating that the U.S. is continuing their preparations as the summit is going to happen.
North was further provoked when USA national secretary John Bolton made a statement that what awaits NK is the "Libya model" of denuclearization.
That was a reference to Libya's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, who agreed to give up nuclear weapons in 2003 and was later killed by Western-backed rebels.
For starters, there'd be the craved photo of him shaking hands with a sitting USA president.
And if North Korea truly has completed its nuclear program, as it says it has, then it no longer needs an active test site anyway.
"We will guarantee his safety", said Trump.
However, Pyongyang's professed commitment to "denuclearisation" is likely to differ from Washington's demand for "comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible" nuclear disarmament.More news: Players Championship: Webb Simpson dedicates win to mom