Washington D.C., USA : In a statement regarding the outcomes of an earlier summit between leaders of South Korea and the DPRK, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the United States is ready to transform its relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) immediately.
Pompeo said that “the United States congratulates President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong Un on the successful outcome of their summit meeting in Pyongyang.”
“We welcome President Moon and Chairman Kim’s reaffirmation of the Singapore joint statement of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “On the basis of these important commitments, the United States is prepared to engage immediately in negotiations to transform U.S.-DPRK relations.”
He added that “this morning, I invited my counterpart Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to meet in New York City next week where we are both already scheduled to be in attendance at the United Nations General Assembly meeting.”
“Likewise, we have invited North Korean representatives to meet our Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, in Vienna, Austria at the earliest opportunity,” Pompeo added.
This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform U.S.-DPRK relations through the process of denuclearization of the DPRK and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, Pompeo noted.
Earlier on the same day, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that the fruits of the summit are “very exciting.”
The DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong Un and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday signed a joint declaration, agreeing to take additional steps toward making the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons and threats of armed conflict.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Wednesday that China welcomes the consensus reached between the two nations.
“China, as a close neighbor, always supports the efforts of the north and south of the peninsula to improve their ties and push forward reconciliation and cooperation through dialogue and consultation,” Geng said.
China hopes that the two sides will continue to implement the consensus, endeavor to promote interaction and cooperation and play a positive role in achieving a political solution to the peninsula issue as well as lasting peace in the region, Geng said.
Before leaving Washington for flood-stricken North Carolina on Wednesday morning, Trump told reporters: “We had very good news from North Korea, South Korea. They met, and we had some great responses.”
Trump also confirmed that he received “a tremendous letter” from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, delivered “three days ago”. In it, Kim requested a second meeting with Trump, which the US is trying to coordinate, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“We’re making tremendous progress with respect to North Korea,” Trump said, adding that the relationship has been “very much calmed down”.
“Prior to my coming into office, a lot of people thought we were going – it was inevitable – we were going to war in North Korea,” he said.
At their third summit this week, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced that North Korea agreed to dismantle a missile test site and launch pad in the presence of “international experts.”
Kim also agreed to dismantle North Korea’s main nuclear complex if the United States agrees to “corresponding steps.”
“We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,” Kim said.
Kim did not specify what reciprocal measures he is looking for from the United States. But North Korea has been demanding the United States sign a joint peace declaration to officially end the Korean War before it will proceed with denuclearization.
Pompeo meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho in New York next week would mark a resumption of U.S.-North Korea dialogue after Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang in August was canceled by President Trump.
Administration officially have previously said they were aiming for North Korea to take major denuclearization steps by the end of Trump’s first time, which is line with the January 2021 timeline in Pompeo’s Wednesday statement.
U.S. talks with North Korea have faltered after Trump and Kim’s June summit in Singapore, in which Kim made vague promises of denuclearization in exchange for unspecific security guarantees from the United States.
Pompeo’s August trip was canceled after the administration received a letter from North Korea that is said to have been belligerent enough to convince Trump that Pompeo’s trip would not be worth it.
After the cancellation, Kim sent Trump a letter asking for a second summit with him. The White House has said it has begun planning that summit.