Pompeo on Meeting With Senior North Korean Official in New York: 'We've Made Real Progress'

May 31, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to the media on Thursday following a meeting with North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in New York.

Pompeo said the meeting with Kim Yong Chol, who formerly served as the director of North Korea's primary intelligence service, was successful in achieving its goal of making clear North Korea must rid itself of nuclear weapons.

"Our two countries face a pivotal moment in our relationship in which it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste," Pompeo said. "In my conversations with Chairman Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang and today with Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, I've been very clear that President Trump and the United States' objective is very consistent and well known: the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

Pompeo said there is still a path forward to the planned summit meeting between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, which is currently planned for June 12 in Singapore. Talks between the two sides continue, and the secretary of state said Kim Yong Chol will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with Trump and to hand him a personal letter from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

"We've made real progress in the last 72 hours towards setting the conditions," Pompeo said.

The secretary of state said conditions for the meeting to go forward include believing there is a real chance Trump and Kim Jong Un could leave the meeting with some form of an agreement.

He added there has been constant communication between South Korea, Japan, and the United States and that all concerned parties are on the same page as to the contents of a viable agreement with North Korea.