Mike Pomeo says Kim will have to show bold leadership, seize opportunity of a lifetime

Jun 01, 2018, 03:40 IST | PTI

He said the two nations face a "pivotal moment" in their relationship in which "it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste"

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will have to show "bold leadership" and seize the "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" as Washington and Pyongyang prepare for a proposed summit between their two leaders.

He said the two nations face a "pivotal moment" in their relationship in which "it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste."

"The proposed summit offers a historic opening" for President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader to "boldly lead the US and the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) into a new era of peace, prosperity and security," Pompeo told reporters here yesterday.

North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol, who is in New York to hold talks with Pompeo, would deliver a letter from his leader, Kim Jong-un, to Trump at the White House today. When asked if it would be clear then that a summit would actually take place, Pompeo said "Don't know. Don't know the answer to that."

He said Trump's and the US's objectives of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" were well known.

"We envision a strong, connected and secure, prosperous North Korea that maintains its cultural heritage but is integrated into the community of nations," Pompeo added.

The secretary of state said working together, the people of the US and North Korea could create a future defined by "friendship and collaboration and not by distrust, fear and threats."

"If these talks are successful it will truly be historic. It will take bold leadership from Kim Jong-un if we are to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the course for the world," he added.

Pompeo said Trump and he believed that Kim was the kind of leader who could make these kinds of decisions and "that in the coming weeks and months, we will have the opportunity to test whether or not this is the case."

He, however, added that the path forward with North Korea would have its challenges.

"It should not be to anyone's surprise that there will be moments along the way that this won't be straightforward, that there will be things that look hard and times it appears there is a roadblock, sometimes even perceived as insurmountable," he said, adding that the process that would take days and weeks to work through.

"There will be tough moments, there will be difficult times. I have had some difficult conversations with them as well. They have given it right back to me too," the secretary of state added.

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