Secretary of State Mike Pompeo perfectly, and succinctly explained what is at stake in our negotiations with North Korea.
On one side is the world, hoping to eliminate North Korea as a nuclear threat, and a threat to incite a larger war that could draw in old adversaries.
On the other is North Korea with an opportunity to advance their nation 100 years into the future with a simple promise to de-nuclearize and to normalize relations with the outside world.
Secretary of State Pompeo put it plainly, the USA is offering North Korea the opportunity to move forward into an age of prosperity “ON PAR” with South Korea!
It is a stunning promise, and all North Korea has to do is stop being a pain in the world’s neck.
Here’s the full speech from Pompeo:
Sixty five years ago. Tens of thousands of Koreans and Americans sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of freedom for South Korea. In the years since, the citizens of South Korea took the hard-earned freedom and transformed their war-shattered country into an economic wonder.
The Republic of Korea is now the 11th largest economy in the globe, the sixth largest trading partner of the United States and a key force multiplier for U.S. leadership in the world. The U.S. Republic of Korea alliance has been fortified by the trials of history and is unequivocally now stronger than ever.
Over 28,500 men and women of the United States Forces Korea serve as the forward deployed face of the ironclad U.S. commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea, its people and indeed to the entire region. The prospect of peace and security in the Korean peninsula and across the Asia Pacific region is why we have stood shoulder to shoulder for more than six decades.
Just yesterday, I returned from Pyongyang, where I had productive discussions with Chairman Kim Jong Un in preparation for President Trump’s summit with him. It was an honor as one of my first actions as Secretary of State to negotiate the safe return of three U.S. citizens and bring them home to freedom.
We wish these Americans and their families the best as they reconnect after a very difficult time apart. On behalf of the American people, we say welcome home. The release of these three citizens helps set the conditions for a successful meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim.
We look forward to our continued preparations with the DPRK to make the summit in Singapore on June 12th a true success for the American and Korean people and for the world. I congratulate South Korea and North Korea on their historic meeting last month.
The United States is encouraged by President Moon and Chairman Kim’s stated goal of denuclearization in the Panmunjom Declaration. Today, Foreign Minister Kang and I discussed the summit, my trip to North Korea and the bold step President Trump is about to take when he meets with Chairman Kim.
We would not be where we are today without the close and coordinated leadership of Presidents Trump and Moon. The United States and the Republic of Korea remain committed to achieving the permanent, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korea – North Korean people. America’s track record of support for the Korean people is second to none. If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends.
The United States looks forward to continued, close cooperation with our South Korean allies on this issue and many others. Foreign Ministers, thank you for being with me today. It was a pleasure to work with you.
KANG: Thank you very much Mr. Secretary for the very warm welcome. Let me reiterate my congratulations on your becoming the top diplomat of the United States at this historic moment. Secretary Pompeo, you have already been at the center of our joint efforts on North Korea.
And I very much look forward to working closely with you. We spoke on April 28th right after the momentous inter-Korean summit, and today we met just after Secretary Pompeo’s return from Pyongyang. During our meeting, I congratulated him and President Trump for the successful release of the three U.S. citizens, all Korean Americans, from North Korea.
This is a promising signal for the upcoming summit between Presidents Trump and Chairman Kim. Over the past weeks, both Korea and the United States have been engaged in intensive diplomatic efforts regarding North Korea.
And we briefed each other on the latest endeavors, including Secretary Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang and the Korea Japan China trilateral summit in Tokyo. Which has opted a special statement welcoming the outcome of the South North Korea summit.
And expressing the strong hopes for the success of the upcoming U.S. North Korea summit. In this context, Secretary Pompeo and I discussed preparations for the summit meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore on June 12th. KANG: We agreed that the summit would be an historic opportunity for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, and securing enduring peace on the Korean peninsula. We reaffirmed that our goal is to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
In this regard, Secretary Pompeo and I agree, the next few weeks will be critical, requiring airtight coordination between our two countries.
As announced, President Moon will visit Washington, D.C. soon to meet with President Trump. The close communication and trust between Presidents Trump and Moon has been the driving force that has brought us to this point of breakthrough for the denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula. So their meeting on the 22nd will be instrumental in preparing for a successful U.S.-North Korea summit.
Secretary Pompeo and I will — reaffirmed that the ROK-U.S. alliance, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, has long served as the linchpin for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.
We also reaffirm that, for the last 65 years, the USFK — the United States Forces in Korea — has played a crucial role for deterrence and peace and stability of the region. And we would like to emphasize again that the U.S. military presence in Korea is a matter for the ROK-U.S. alliance first and foremost.
After today’s meeting, I am even more confident that our alliance is as robust as ever and that there is no daylight in our cooperation on the denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Once again, I would like to thank Secretary Pompeo for today’s fruitful discussions and look forward to building a close working partnership — relationship with him. And, in addition to the upcoming summit meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 22nd, I hope to see him again in Seoul and reciprocate the hospitality very soon. Thank you very much.