“We’ve made real progress in the last 72 hours,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Thursday afternoon of ongoing talks in New York, Singapore and the Korean Demilitarized Zone on a potential summit between Kim and Trump.
Pompeo, who dined with a senior North Korean official, Gen. Kim Yong Chol, on Wednesday night in New York City and met with him again on Thursday, said negotiations centered around creating “a place where we think there can be real progress made by the two of them meeting.”
Trump said Thursday morning that “we’re doing very well” in the ongoing summit talks even as the outcome remains uncertain.
Last week, North Korea called Vice President Mike Pence a “dummy” and Trump pulled out of the planned June 12 talks and said the U.S military stood ready to respond to any potential North Korean provocations.
While talks have resumed, and Pompeo said Thursday that the U.S.’s aim was “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” it’s unclear if the administration will accept a phase-out of the regime’s nuclear arms as Trump indicated last week.
Pompeo repeatedly stressed the “historic” nature of a potential agreement between the two countries, but he also expressed caution.
“Make no mistake about it, President Trump and this administration completely understands how hard this problem is,” he said.