Washington: US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is hopeful that working-level negotiations with North Korea will resume “very soon”.
At The Economic Club of Washington DC on Monday, Pompeo also hoped that there are “creative solutions to unlocking” the deadlock over the dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
“We hope that we can have working-level discussions starting again very soon so that we can unlock the Rubik’s Cube,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Pompeo as saying.
“We hope that he can see his way clear, so we can get that brighter future that President (Donald) Trump has talked about,” he said while making a reference of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Responding to a question on a planned third meeting between Trump and Kim, Pompeo stressed that there is “nothing in the works”.
Claiming that he spent more time with Kim than any other American, Pompeo described him as a “bright” person.
“He’s bright. He has managed to rise to the level of leadership in a difficult environment where he was a very young man, when his time came. From my very first interaction with him, he’s been very candid with me about the things that are important to him, the priority set and how the negotiations might proceed,” he said.
“He’s now repeated that he’s prepared to denuclearise. It’s now time to execute,” the top US diplomat added.
Pompeo’s comments come after North Korea recently launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, amid the stalemate in denuclearisations talks between the communist country and the US.
On June 30, Trump and Kim had held an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) where the two leaders agreed to resume working-level talks to put denuclearisation talks back on track.
However, North Korea has warned that the future of talks will depend on whether South Korea and the US will go ahead with the joint military exercises planned for next month.