- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2018

SINGAPORE — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday the U.S. is prepared to offer new security assurances that will help convince North Korea to begin giving up its nuclear weapons.

Briefing reporters on the upcoming summit, Mr. Pompeo called the security assurances on the negotiating table “different” and “unique” from what the U.S. has offered North Korea in past negotiations.

He refused to elaborate, leaving the world to guess whether the American military steps away from East Asia or finds another means to assuage North Korea’s longtime fear of a U.S. invasion.

The promise of unprecedented moves for security guarantees came on the eve of the summit here between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who will seek for Pyongyang to permanently eliminate its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Mr. Pompeo also said Mr. Trump wouldn’t be double-crossed in the deal, as previous presidents have been by North Korea. He said the deal would hinge on verifiable elements of the goal — complete, verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons or CVID.

“It is only once the ‘V’ happens. That’s what was amiss before,” the secretary of state said.

Mr. Pompeo refused to answer reporters’ questions about whether the assurances involved the reduction of the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea or the withdraw of U.S. military assets from the region.

Mr. Kim is expected to push for the U.S. to step back from the region in exchange for moves toward dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

“The ultimate objective we seek through diplomacy with North Korea has not changed,” Mr. Pompeo said. “The complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is the only outcome that the United States will accept.”

A final round of pre-summit dealmaking continued thought the day, with top negotiators from the two sides huddling at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

The meeting included North Korea Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son-hui and U.S. negotiators Allison Hooker, the National Security Council’s director for Korea, and Randall Schriver, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs.

Mr. Pompeo was upbeat about the progress being made in the talks.

“They are in fact moving very rapidly, and we anticipate they will come to their logical conclusions even more quickly than we had anticipated,” he said.


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