US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday he is still optimistic that the United States can have North Korea agree to denuclearize.
“As for North Korea… we did have hopes that we could make further progress and Chairman Kim [Jong Un] would go in a different direction, but I’m still optimistic,” Pompeo said during a discussion at the Atlantic Council. “It’s gone quiet publicly, but there’s still lots of work going on.”
Pompeo said work continues among the United States, Japan and South Korea, including some efforts with North Korea, to try to find opportunities for cooperation and achieve denuclearization.
On Monday, the South Korean Unification Ministry expressed hope that the joint liaison office with North Korea would be restored in order to revive communication between both countries.
The United States and North Korea had two denuclearization summits in 2018 and 2019, but they eventually faced a deadlock as Washington demanded that Pyongyang completely dismantle all of its nuclear facilities in order to be provided sanctions relief, while North Korea insisted that part of the sanctions be lifted before denuclearization begins.