Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered the first snapshot of a possible timeline for North Korean denuclearization Wednesday, saying the U.S. wants Pyongyang to show clear evidence of major disarmament steps before President Trump’s term in office ends in January 2021.
Mr. Pompeo also asserted that Mr. Trump was “unambiguous” about the conditions of freezing U.S.-South Korea military drills during the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that was held in Singapore on Tuesday.
The secretary of state, who made the assertions during a visit Wednesday to South Korea, said Mr. Trump’s vow to freeze U.S.-South Korean military drills is contingent on Pyongyang’s commitment to positive denuclearization negotiations.
After signing a joint statement at the Singapore summit on the broad goal of ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, Mr. Trump revealed he had promised to Mr. Kim that the military drills, which the president referred to as “war games,” would be halted.
Pyongyang has has long lamented the joint drills, characterizing them as practice for an invasion of North Korea.
Mr. Pompeo said Wednesday that he was present when Mr. Trump discussed the matter with Mr. Kim. The secretary of state said Mr. Trump “made very clear” to the North Korean leader that the condition for freezing the drills was that good-faith talks continue, The Associated Press reported.
He added that if the U.S. concludes that discussions with North Korea are no longer are in good faith, the freeze “will no longer be in effect.”
Mr. Trump was “unambiguous” in conveying the message to Mr. Kim, Mr. Pompeo said.