US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Thursday that peace efforts with North Korea still faced “risks” and insisted that sanctions must be maintained on Pyongyang until it dismantles its nuclear arsenal.
Pompeo made the remarks during a regional tour to brief South Korean, Japanese and Chinese officials about President Donald Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
In Beijing, Pompeo said China “reaffirmed its commitment” to United Nations sanctions after the foreign ministry suggested earlier this week that the UN Security Council could consider easing the economic punishment against its Cold War-era ally.
But, he warned, “there are still risks that we won’t achieve” that goal and more work needs to be done.
Pompeo, speaking alongside Wang, said the UN resolutions have mechanisms for sanctions relief “and we agreed that at the appropriate time that those would be considered”.
But, he added, “we have made very clear that the sanctions and the economic relief that North Korea will receive will only happen after the full denuclearisation, the complete denuclearisation of North Korea.”
Earlier, Pompeo insisted at a joint press conference with the South Korea and Japanese foreign ministers that there was no daylight among the allies on how to achieve denuclearisation and sanctions would remain in place.