Seoul: Tough sanctions will remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearisation, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on Thursday, apparently contradicting the North’s view that the process agreed at this week’s summit would be phased out and reciprocal. US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a joint statement after their Singapore meeting that reaffirmed the North’s commitment to “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, an end to joint US-South Korean military exercises and gave US guarantees of security to North Korea.
“President Trump has been incredibly clear about the sequencing of denuclearisation and relief from the sanctions,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after meeting South Korea’s president and Japan’s foreign minister in Seoul.
“We are going to get complete denuclearisation; only then will there be relief from the sanctions,” he said.
North Korean state media reported on Wednesday that Kim and Trump had recognised the principle of “step-by-step and simultaneous action” to achieve peace and denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.
The summit statement provided no details on when Pyongyang would give up its nuclear weapons program or how the dismantling might be verified.
Skeptics of how much the meeting achieved pointed to the North Korean leadership’s long-held view that nuclear weapons are a barricade against what it fears are US plans to overthrow it and unite the Korean peninsula.