The US Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo voiced cautious optimism in President Donald Trump’s ability to negotiate a nuclear deal with Pyongyang, but also struck a tone on the issue that was likely to trigger concern in Tokyo and Seoul, during a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, according to a report in the Japan Times.
Pompeo, who currently serves as CIA chief, told the hearing that the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, planned for May or early June, would lay the foundations for denuclearising the North.
Referring to what would be the first direct engagement between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, Pompeo played down expectations of a “comprehensive agreement” in just a single meeting.
But he said he expects the unprecedented meeting to “set out the conditions that would be acceptable to each side for the two leaders that will ultimately make the decision about whether such an agreement can be achieved and then set in place.
Under questioning, Pompeo would not take any option off the table, including military action. (UNI)