US top diplomat says military drills will resume if DPRK stops talks

World Today

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, walks with U.S. General Vincent K. Brooks, left, commander of United States Forces Korea, upon his arrival at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (Jung Yeon-je/Pool Photo via AP)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is personally briefing Korean, Japanese and Chinese leaders on what Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump agreed to in Singapore. The joint statement released afterward stated a commitment to complete denuclearization without the word “verifiable.”

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

“Let me assure you that the ‘complete’ encompasses verifiable in the minds of everyone concerned. One can’t completely denuclearize without validating, authenticating – you pick the word,” Pompeo said.

While in Seoul this week, Pompeo said upcoming joint military exercises with the Republic of Korea will stay on pause, as long as diplomacy with Pyongyang continues.

Trump tweeted before he landed in Washington that there was no longer a nuclear threat from the DPRK.

He also stated that the U.S. would not engage in “war games” as long as the DPRK kept up with good-faith talks.

The DPRK signed the agreement in exchange for a freeze in ROK-U.S. military drills. It’s a proposal Beijing has long advocated, known as “dual suspension.”

“China always believes that sanctions are not the goals. All parties should support and cooperate with the efforts of diplomatic dialogues and denuclearization,” Geng Shuang of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Pompeo and President Trump have publicly thanked Beijing for implementing international sanctions. Pompeo is expected to ask China to keep up the pressure and, if Kim gets rid of his nuclear program, assist his country with rebuilding.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Washington’s goal is to achieve “major disarmament” of Pyongyang by the end of President Trump’s first term. That’s just two and a half years away. A key nuclear weapons scientist estimates it could take as long as 15 years.