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6/14/2018 11:28:06 AM

US committed to 'complete, verifiable and irreversible' North Korea denuclearisation: Pompeo

The United States is committed to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday (June 14th), after briefing his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on President Donald Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un.

A photo taken on November 29, 2017 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows the launch of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, which is theoretically capable of hitting all major U.S. cities. (Photo: AFP/KCNA VIA KNS)

"The United States remains committed to achieving the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea," Pompeo said at a press conference in Seoul.

Kim understands that the process must happen "quickly", Pompeo said, warning there will be no sanctions relief until after "complete denuclearisation".

"We believe that Kim Jong Un understands the urgency ... that we must do this quickly."

Washington's top diplomat is in Seoul to brief South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Tuesday's historic talks - the first between sitting leaders of the two countries - after which a triumphant Trump said the world can "sleep well".

Pompeo also insisted that Pyongyang was committed to giving up its nuclear arsenal but said it would "be a process, not an easy one".

Following the summit, Trump said the U.S. would halt its "provocative" joint military drills with South Korea as long as negotiations are ongoing with the North, an announcement that caught Seoul by surprise.

But the U.S.-South Korea alliance remains "as robust as ever", Seoul's foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha said at a press conference with Pompeo and Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono.

Pompeo is scheduled to fly to Beijing to meet his Chinese counterpart after the meetings in Seoul./.

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