Pompeo expects N.Korea diplomacy to be ‘bumpy’


WASHINGTON, April 25, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
said Wednesday he expected “bumpy” talks ahead with North Korea but that he
still hoped to reach a potentially landmark denuclearization deal.

US President Donald Trump in February cut short a summit in Hanoi with
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with Pyongyang later blaming Pompeo for a
pushing a hard line and calling for his exclusion from future negotiations.

In an interview with CBS News, Pompeo said the Hanoi summit had more
“nuance” than publicly reported, with the two sides sharing their positions.

“It’s going to be bumpy. It’s going to be challenging. I hope we get
several more chances to have serious conversations about how we move this
process forward,” Pompeo said.

North Korea has demanded an easing of sanctions and Trump has indicated
sympathy, saying he is fond of Kim.

But Pompeo has insisted on maintaining pressure until a comprehensive deal
on ending North Korea’s nuclear program. Pompeo said that years of previous
diplomatic efforts had made a mistake with North Korea by handing them “a
bunch of money in exchange for too little.”

“We’re determined not to make that mistake, and I think the North Koreans
now see that pretty clearly,” he said.

Pompeo, who traveled to Pyongyang four times last year, said he
“absolutely” believed that Kim was willing to take a major step to give up
his nuclear weapons in return for less isolation.

“Only time will tell for sure, but I’ve seen enough to believe that there
is a real opportunity to fundamentally shift the strategic paradigm on the
peninsula there.”

His remarks came as Kim flew to Russia’s far east for a summit with
President Vladimir Putin, whose country has historically been an ally of
North Korea.