Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said US diplomatic efforts will continue toward the goal of denuclearization of North Korea, a day after a North Korean official said it no longer wanted to deal with him in talks.
“Nothing has changed. We’ll continue to work to negotiate; still in charge of the team. President Trump’s obviously in charge of the overall effort, but it’ll be my team,” Pompeo told reporters in Washington.
He added that US diplomats led by Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun would continue efforts to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, which he said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un committed to last June.
“I am convinced we will have a real opportunity to achieve that outcome,” Pompeo said at a joint news conference after talks with Japan’s foreign and defense ministers.
In answer to a question, Pompeo said he believed it was possible to maintain diplomatic engagement with North Korea even without providing the sanctions relief it had been demanding.
“We will continue to press North Korea to abandon all of its weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles related programs and facilities,” Pompeo said. “We will continue to enforce all sanctions on North Korea and encourage every country to do so.”