Pompeo says N. Korea’s nuclear threat a top priority

February 19, 2019

 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed North Korea’s nuclear threat as a top issue that he seeks to tackle during the remainder of his term.

Pompeo told Icelandic broadcaster RUV on Friday that he is hopeful of progress at next week’s planned second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“President Trump is very focused on the issue of nuclear proliferation and the risk that nuclear weapons pose to the world,” the top U.S. diplomat said.

“In a couple weeks he will travel — I’ll go along with him — to Hanoi, where he will again meet with Chairman Kim Jong-un, and I hope we can make a material decrease in the risk that Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons pose to the world.”

Trump and Kim are due to meet in the Vietnamese capital on Feb. 27 and 28 as a follow-up to their historic first summit in Singapore in June.

The first summit produced a vague commitment from Kim to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the United States.

The next meeting is expected to flesh out concrete denuclearization steps and corresponding U.S. measures.

Pompeo was responding to a question about his top goals for the remaining two years of the current Trump administration’s term.

North Korea was mentioned second after improving effectiveness at the State Department and before making sure international institutions are “fit to function.”