Pompeo keeps spinning Trump-Kim summit

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Pompeo keeps spinning Trump-Kim summit

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be held in Asia next month.

In an interview with Fox News, the top U.S. diplomat reaffirmed the plan to have the summit at the end of February, adding “We’ll do it someplace in Asia.”

While media reports have speculated that Vietnam will host the meeting, it’s the first time that a U.S. official has revealed any location.

“I am dispatching a team,” Pompeo said. “They’re headed that way now to lay the foundations for what I hope will be a substantial additional step toward the path for not only denuclearization of the peninsula, but a brighter future for the North Korean people and security on the peninsula in a way that no previous administration’s been able to achieve.”

Trump and Kim held their first summit in Singapore in June and agreed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees for Pyongyang.

The sides have since wrangled over exact terms, with the United States demanding more concrete denuclearization steps and the North seeking sanctions relief among other concessions.

Pompeo credited Trump with drawing the Singapore commitment from Kim.

“Now it’s time for my team and all of the U.S. government to work with the North Koreans to execute that and to deliver on our commitment to denuclearize that peninsula,” he said. “Chairman Kim has told us he’s prepared to do it, and now the mission is to deliver on that.”

Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said it will continue its diplomatic efforts to achieve the denuclearization goal despite growing skepticism over Pyongyang’s will to forgo its nuclear program.

“South Korea and the United States are closely watching developments related to the North’s nuclear activity through close bilateral cooperation,” Noh Kyu-duk, the ministry’s spokesman, told a press briefing.

Earlier this week, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats reportedly told Congress that Pyongyang is unlikely to completely abandon its nuclear weapons.

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