Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the details of a second nuclear summit between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un are “pretty close” to getting hammered out. The secretary made these and other remarks after meeting with his Chinese counterparts in Beijing on October 8, to discuss the nuclear summit, as well as other bilateral, regional and global issues.
“Sometimes that last issue is hard to close. But we’re getting pretty close,” he told reporters. “And most importantly, both the leaders believe there’s real progress that can be made, substantive progress that can be made at the next summit, and so we’re going to get it at a time that works for each of the two leaders in a place that works for both of them.”
“We’re not quite there yet, but we’ll get there.”
China was the final stop on his overseas trip to Asia that included Japan, North Korea, South Korea and China. State Pompeo also met separately with Member of the Political Bureau and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Yang Jiechi and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing.
They discussed the overall state of bilateral U.S.-China relations.
“The two sides reaffirmed their shared resolve to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. “The United States and China remain unified on our pressure campaign, and are committed to a bright future for the DPRK if Pyongyang denuclearizes quickly.”
On October 7, Secretary Pompeo and Special Representative Stephen E. Biegun met with Chairman Kim and Kim Yo-jong, First Vice Director of the Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee.
“They discussed the four elements contained in the U.S.-DPRK Singapore Summit Joint Statement signed by President Trump and Chairman Kim,” Ms. Nauert continued. “They also discussed the upcoming second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim and refined options for the location and date of that next summit.”
In Singapore, Chairman Kim agreed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. In total, President Trump and Chairman Kim agreed to the four following elements:
Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.–DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Since the Singapore Summit, North Korea’s behavior has been up for debate, though it’s not debatable that the intercontinental ballistic missile tests have ceased. The State Department also said Chairman Kim invited inspectors to visit the Punggye Ri nuclear test site to confirm that it has been irreversibly dismantled.
Secretary Pompeo departed Pyongyang on October 8 and immediately headed to South Korea to discuss the meeting with President Moon Jae-in. He also attended a working dinner with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
On his way back to the U.S., the secretary stressed that the central big issues have to be negotiated by high-level officials, noting that Special Representative Biegun’s counterpart will be Choe Son-hui.
“We will be having more frequent and higher-level working group discussions than we’ve had in some time on a set of issues. So that was important good news,” Mr. Pompeo added. “So we’ll have a chance to meet here in between the summit date, as well.”
“But we do think, right, this is a place where, ultimately, some of these big, difficult issues have to be resolved by the nations’ most senior leaders, and we’re hoping to have those presented in a way that the two leaders can resolve them when they get together.”