US hopes for major nuclear disarmament by North Korea: US secretary of state Pompeo
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un look on as documents are exchanged between US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and the North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo Jong at a signing ceremony during the Singapore summit. Photograph: (AFP)
A day after President Trump and Kim Jong-un concluded their talks, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a visit to South Korea said US hopes for major nuclear disarmament by North Korea by 2020.
Speaking to reporters, Pompeo said he hoped for major disarmament in 2-1/2 years, adding that "there will be in-depth verification."
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had concluded an agreement with President Trump on Tuesday during the Singapore summit promising to ensure denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, however, the fine print of the agreement wasn't clear leading several experts to doubt the timeline of the nuclear disarmament process.
"Not all of that work appeared in the final document. But lots of other places where there were understandings reached, we couldn't reduce them to writing, so that means there’s still some work to do," Pompeo said as he sought to clear doubts about the deal reached in Singapore between Trump and Kim.
"There was a great deal of work done that is beyond what was seen in the final document that will be the place that we will begin when we return to our conversations," the US secretary of state added.
Pompeo said he would stay engaged with the North Korean officials to continue the process started in Singapore on Tuesday, the US secretary said: "I don’t know exactly what the timing will be for our next conversation with the North Koreans. I would anticipate it will be fairly quickly."
President Trump had declared yesterday that the US and South Korea would no longer be conducting war games along the Korean Peninsula. Pompeo who arrived in South Korea on Wednesday will hold a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday and then hold a trilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.
Although US troops are still stationed in South Korea due to a state of war existing between the two Koreas, but Kim during his meeting with Trump in Singapore had resolved to officially bring the 1950 Korean war to an end.