The 2nd Summit: Can Trump win vs. North Korea?
WASHINGTON (SBG) - The world watched last June with nervous hope that two larger-than-life leaders could avoid the potential for nuclear war. Now they’re readying for round two.
Thursday, images released from North Korean state media showed Kim Jong-un ordering preparations and reportedly complimenting President Trump’s “unusual determination and will” after reading a letter from the American leader.
Nuclear policy adviser, Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council was asked if there’s reason to be confident it would yield positive results.
“It’s worth a try. We should go ahead and have the conversation but I’m pretty pessimistic. If Kim Jong-un were serious about denuclearization, he could be dismantling nuclear weapons, dismantling missiles and he’s not doing that.”
We talked with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an exclusive interview for Full Measure, just moments before he met with his North Korean counterparts last week to negotiate terms of the summit.
“We've always known this would be a long process. While we do that, we need to make sure we reduce risk and we've done that. There aren't nuclear tests being conducted. There haven't been missile tests conducted. These are things that were threatening the United States when President Trump took office.”
Thursday, via Twitter, President Trump argued in a short 15 months he’s done “more than has ever been accomplished,” citing the return of U.S. soldier remains, American prisoners and the end of missile tests. Although, experts say they haven’t given up developing weapons.
“You know a few years ago, even last year, if the North Koreans came to us and said here’s a deal, we’ll agree to keep what we have our nuclear missile program but we won’t test it anymore, does that work for you? We would have said no," Kroenig suggested. “The goal is denuclearization.”
“Five past presidents have tried this same thing. What's the reason to believe that this time is different?,” we asked Pompeo.
“Yeah, it's the first time a North Korean leader has met with the United States president looked him in the eye and said, I'll do it.”
If North Korea admits what it has and gives a timeline for dismantling, experts say the U.S. may be willing to lift sanction and ease restrictions on oil imports.
The summit is set for next month. Officials have not yet announced the location.