Pompeo’s surprise visit to North Korea appeared to be fruitful, as he returned with three Americans who had been held in North Korean labor camps. Additionally, Pompeo noted that his talks with Kim Jong Un were “warm” and “constructive,” as he promised the leader U.S. economic help if North Korea indeed denuclearizes the peninsula.
As the Trump-Kim summit nears, there are several concerns. One, people wonder if North Korea’s definition of denuclearization is the same as the United States’. Secondly, some predict that Kim will demand that U.S. troops withdraw from South Korea.
Mike Pence said, “What Kim Jong Un has said publicly and in discussions is that he is prepared, he is prepared to negotiate to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Pompeo said that the denuclearization would need to be verified and permanent in order for it to be considered complete, reported The Hill.
The topic of South Korean troops may come up in the summit, although experts advise that it should not. For 65 years, the United States has kept a strong military presence in South Korea, which is believed to have helped keep the peace between the North and South, detailed CBS News. The discussion of whether the troops should leave or not is advised to take place only between the president of South Korea and Trump.
The allure of economic help could be enough for Kim to accept terms to denuclearize, as Pompeo said that there’s a chance that North Korea and the U.S. could become “partners,” according to the Los Angeles Times. This could be a significant change to the current state of relations between the two countries. For about 70 years since the Korean War, the U.S. and North Korea have been hostile to one another. Most recently, the U.S. posed sanctions on North Korea when Kim refused to stop testing his nuclear weapons.
An example of a country that accepted U.S. economic help is Japan after World War II, which was able to recover after losing the war. Currently, South Korea is doing much better economically than North Korea, and Pompeo pointed out that with help from the U.S., Kim could see his country flourish and do well like his southern neighbors.
The Trump-Kim summit is scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. The details of denuclearization will be discussed then between the two leaders.