President Donald Trump declared that the North Korean regime no longer poses a nuclear threat and Americans can “sleep well” following his summit with Kim Jong-un. However, North Korea provided no proof that the regime will end its nuclear program.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemingly contradicted the president’s declaration and admits that the North Korean regime is still a threat.
“I’m confident what he intended there was, ‘we did reduce the threat,'” Pompeo told a Senate panel on Wednesday, according to CNN. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”
Pompeo adds that post-summit relationship with North Korea has reduced the tension.
After returning from the Singapore summit earlier this month, Trump tweeted the following.
“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
Critics of the summit point to the numerous occasions the North Korean regime has failed to keep their promise to denuclearize.
Others accused Trump of legitimizing the North Korean dictator by heaping praise on him by calling him “smart” and “very talented,” declaring the meeting “a great honor” and saying he trusts Kim.
Supporters of the president say he reduced tension in the region and opened the door for further negotiation with the once hostile regime.
While North Korea is reportedly erasing its anti-U.S. propaganda, a watchdog report suggest that they are upgrading one of their nuclear facilities.
New satellite images show North Korea has made rapid improvements to the buildings at its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center — a facility which is reportedly used to produce weapons-grade nuclear material.
The reports suggest that some of the improvement to the facility occurred after Kim Jong-un’s meeting with President Trump earlier this month, seemingly contradicting his promise to denuclearize.
It is unclear what demands the U.S. has made of North Korea as there seems to be no timeline for denuclearization in the documents both Trump and Kim Jong-un signed at the summit.
Mike Pompeo refused to give further details in the Senate hearing about their approach to North Korea.
“I’m not prepared to talk about the details of the discussions that are taking place. I think it would be inappropriate and, frankly, counterproductive to achieving the end state that we’re hoping to achieve.”
The negotiations with North Korea could take several years. China called for sanctions on North Korea to be eased following the summit. It is unclear whether the U.S. will reduce economic sanctions against North Korea.