Pompeo: US still wants ‘CVID’ for N. Korea issue

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday Washington has not dropped the aim of denuclearizing North Korea in a “complete, verifiable and irreversible” manner, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.

Speaking after talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Seoul, Pompeo stressed that there would be no sanctions relief for Pyongyang before that. The US and the two other regional powers remain “committed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) of North Korea,” he was quoted as saying at a joint press conference.

His remarks came as some media and experts find fault with President Donald Trump’s Singapore summit accord with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un, which has no clear mention of Washington’s stated goal of CVID. The accord just stipulates that the communist nation will “work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Trump said he had skipped the CVID jargon in the joint statement due to time constraints and Pompeo told reporters the word “complete” encompasses the notion of verification. Pompeo said Kim appears to understand the need for a quick process.

“We believe that Chairman Kim understands the urgency of the timing of completing this denuclearization and understands we must do this quickly,” he said, “And the sanctions relief cannot take place until such time as we have demonstrated that North Korea has been completely denuclearized.” The summit deal, he added, will be implemented on a “sequencing, conditions” basis “with eyes open.” South Korea’s top diplomat, Kang Kyung-hwa, described the Singapore event as a “historic turning point,” saying it marks the first time that the “highest authorities of the North Korea promised to a ‘sitting’ US president to work towards complete denuclearization.” Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono said the US Forces Korea should continue to play a key role in regional deterrence and stability.

Ahead of the trilateral meeting, Pompeo paid a courtesy call on South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “I think what’s tremendously valuable is that (the Singapore summit) has made people of the world, including those in the US, Japan and Korea, escape the threat of war, nuclear weapons and long-range missiles,” Moon was quoted as telling Pompeo. The top US diplomat is scheduled to visit Beijing later in the day.

Source: Kuwait News Agency