Pompeo Says Next Steps With North Korea to Begin as Early as Next Week

June 13, 2018 Updated: June 14, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the next steps in America’s engagement with North Korea will start as early as next week.

At the conclusion of their historic June 12 summit,  President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a statement that includes North Korea’s intent to completely abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Pompeo said during a news briefing on Wednesday that some details discussed between the two countries were not included in the final statement.

“Not all of that work appeared in the final document, but lots of other places where there were understandings reached, we couldn’t reduce them to writing,” he said.

Pompeo also said that a team consisting of scientists from America and around the world have been working for months to make preparations for the execution of North Korea’s denuclearization process.

“The president has said, and it’s common knowledge, the work itself takes some amount of time. We have big teams ready to go,” Pompeo said.

After returning from Singapore, Trump tweeted: “Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

North Korea’s position toward the United States has changed dramatically in recent months.

Pompeo traveled to North Korea in early April to begin negotiations. During a second trip in May, Pompeo returned to the United States with three American hostages that had been held in North Korea.

Over the past year, the Trump administration had launched a strategy combining diplomacy, economic sanctions, and a credible military threat to force North Korea to the negotiating table.

Trump was able to get China to agree to take unprecedented steps to rein in North Korea by limiting trade and access to Chinese banks.

North Korea has been developing nuclear weapons for decades, culminating in an ICBM test in late November last year in which the regime successfully fired a missile into outer space. Following the test, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said that Pyongyang was now able to reach any place in the world, including anywhere in the continental United States, with its missiles.