Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Says Kim Jong Un is 'Serious' About Denuclearization

The Trump administration’s new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed some details about his secret meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his first press conference at the NATO ministerial meetings in Brussels, Belgium, ABC News reports.

A few weeks before Pompeo was confirmed as Secretary of State, he met with Kim in Pyongyang to prepare for President Trump and Kim’s summit, which is said to take place in May or early June.

During the press conference, Pompeo was asked about what was discussed in that meeting. While he did not want to go into detail, he did say that he thought that the North Korean leader was “serious” about nuclear talks, CBS News reports.

“I did get a sense that he was serious,” Pompeo said. “The economic pressure that has been put in place by this global effort that President Trump has led, has led him to believe that it is in his best interest to come to the table and talk about denuclearization.”

Adding praise for Trump, Pompeo said, “Let there be no doubt, we would not be where we are today without President Trump's maximum pressure campaign and the work that has been done all around the world to apply pressure to North Korea.”

According to ABC News, the Trump administration helped to pass three rounds of legislation at the United Nations Security Council in 2017 and has lobbied to get countries to break their diplomatic and economic ties with North Korea, all in an effort to put pressure on the country to enter talks.

“We are committed to achieving permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction programs without delay,” Pompeo said. Pompeo added that the United States seeks to remove these dangerous weapons from North Korea, but is not interested in removing forces from the region, CBS News reports.

The Secretary of State did say that pressure will remain on North Korea until they take action, adding that he will remain cautious given the country’s record.

“But in the event we reach a resolution, it would be a wonderful thing for the world,” Pompeo remarked.

He did add that also on his agenda for the department is: getting the State Department’s “swagger” back, being tough on Russia until it “complies with international law,” working on the Iran Deal and serving the country as the highest diplomat.

Pompeo will start at the department in Washington on Tuesday, ABC News reports.