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Pompeo Heads to North Korea to Discuss Denuclearization: 'A Lot Left to Be Done'

07-05-2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a quick Fourth of July with his family – that's because he departed from Joint Base Andrews in the predawn hours Thursday morning for his fourth trip to North Korea.

Pompeo said he hopes to firm up a plan to dismantle Kim Jong Un's nuclear weapons program.

In a statement to CBN News, the State Department said both sides agreed to "establish new relations" and "build lasting and stable peace."

The deal also called for North Korea to "work towards complete denuclearization." The final point was the most specific: committing North Korea to recover POW/MIA remains from the Korean War, "including the immediate repatriation of those already identified."

The Pentagon estimates that approximately 5,300 US troops died north of the 38th parallel and remain unaccounted for.  

Declining to speak on intelligence matters, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters last week, "We're in a good spot. We're all keeping a close eye. The secretary has been very clear and very blunt with the North Koreans about what he expects."

In an interview with CBS on Sunday, National Security Adviser John Bolton said Pompeo would discuss with the North Koreans "how to dismantle all of their WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile programs in a year."

The State Department said the US will not provide a timeline.

"I know some individuals have given timelines; we're not going to provide a timeline," Nauert said Tuesday. "A lot of work is left to be done. Certainly, we go in eyes wide open, with a very clear view of these conversations."

The meetings Thursday will be the highest level discussions between the US and North Korea since the historic summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore last month.

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