Pompeo: Kim Jong Un has ‘indicated to me personally that he is prepared to denuclearize’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that Kim Jong Un, the reclusive leader of North Korea, has “indicated to me personally that he is prepared to denuclearize.”

The remarks to reporters came just days ahead of a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump, slated for June 12 in Singapore.

Pompeo, who has met with Kim two times, noted Thursday that “President Trump will not stand for a bad deal,” and said the administration would be seeking complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

Earlier Thursday, Trump said that he would invite Kim to the United States if the summit is successful.

The path to next week’s summit has been tumultuous. Since the topic was first broached March 8 by South Korean diplomats, Trump has canceled the summit, later announcing that it was back on. The North Koreans have also threatened to cancel the summit.

“In the past, there have been months and months of detailed negotiations, and they got nowhere,” Pompeo said Thursday, referring to previous negotiations between the United States and North Korea. In contrast, he said, this summit “has to be big and bold.”

Siegfried S. Hecker, a professor at Stanford who has toured North Korea’s nuclear facilities four times, has argued that it could take 15 years to achieve complete disarmament.

“North Korea will not give up its weapons and its weapons program until its security can be assured,” he wrote in a presentation that was first reported by The New York Times. “Such assurance cannot be achieved simply by an American promise or an agreement on paper, it will require a substantial period of coexistence and interdependence.”

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