Pompeo says North Korea sanctions to remain until complete denuclearization

Tough sanctions will remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearization, the U.S. secretary of state said on Thursday, apparently contradicting the North’s view that the process agreed at this week’s summit would be phased and reciprocal.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a joint statement after their Singapore meeting that reaffirmed the North’s commitment to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, an end to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises and gave U.S. guarantees of security to North Korea.

“President Trump has been incredibly clear about the sequencing of denuclearization and relief from the sanctions,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after meeting South Korea’s president and Japan’s foreign minister in Seoul.

“We are going to get complete denuclearization; only then will there be relief from the sanctions,” he said.

North Korean state media reported on Wednesday Kim and Trump had recognized the principle of “step-by-step and simultaneous action” to achieve peace and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

The summit statement provided no details on when Pyongyang would give up its nuclear weapons program or how the dismantling might be verified.

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