Pompeo 'confident' US will continue 'progress' with North Korea on denuclearization

Tillerson softens rhetoric on North Korea
Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-13 18:59:02-04

(CNN) -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday he's "confident" that the United States will continue its "progress" with North Korea on denuclearization, as the two countries' leaders have suggested they're open to potential third summit.

Speaking in Paraguay, Pompeo, however, would not tell reporters whether there are talks about another meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un.

Pompeo said that the two countries have continued communication since Trump and Kim's February summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, which Trump cut short.

"With respect to our negotiations with North Korea, I don't have anything to add other than even after Hanoi we've continued to have conversations," Pompeo said during a news conference in Paraguay. "I am confident what we did in Hanoi put us in a better place to continue to move forward."

"We have work to do, but I am confident we will continue to make progress," the secretary of state said.

Pompeo also stressed that Kim had "made a commitment" that he wanted his country to denuclearize.

Kim said Friday that he's willing "try one more time" under the conditions that the US "stop the current way of calculation" and approach talks with the "right attitude and (find) a methodology that can be shared with us."

"The United States is talking a lot about holding a third US-NK summit meeting, but we are neither pleased nor willing to see a summit like the Hanoi summit reenacted," Kim said at the 14th session of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, according to Korean Central News Agency.

Kim said he will wait until the end of this year for the US to decide if it wants another summit.

The North Korean dictator added that he and Trump share a "good relationship" and could exchange letters at any time.

Trump said on Twitter Saturday morning that he agrees with Kim that their "personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate."

The US President added that a "third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand."

"I look forward to the day, which could be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!" Trump wrote.

In February, Trump left Hanoi earlier than planned, with no joint agreement or statement after Kim insisted all US sanctions be lifted from his country.

Since the tense summit, North Korea has threatened to suspend denuclearization talks with the United States.

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