By Yang Sheng in Singapore and Liu Xuanzun in Beijing, Global Times
The US is preparing to provide security assurances to North Korea, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday as the world anticipates Tuesday’s summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore.
Complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization (CVID) is the only outcome that the US will accept at the Tuesday summit with Kim, Pompeo told media in Singapore on Monday.
He also said that the US is preparing to provide North Korea with security assurances “fundamentally different from before” to achieve denuclearization.
North Korea has confirmed its willingness to denuclearize, and “we are eager to see if those words prove sincere,” Pompeo said. But he also stressed that US sanctions on North Korea will remain until that has been achieved.
Cui Zhiying, director of Tongji University’s Korean Peninsula Research Center, told the Global Times on Monday that the US’ promise of security assurances will meet North Korea’s demands, which could help lead to an agreement.
Oui said that Pompeo’s remarks ahead of the summit cannot entirely represent the US’ final decision. “Kim and Trump may still talk about the sanctions on Tuesday. It is possible that the US may relax sanctions if North Korea can provide concrete action on denuclearization,” Cui said.
Kim Jin-ho, a professor of international relations at South Korea’s Dankook University, told the Global Times on Monday, “The US will not abandon its position on CVID.”
But it might be a more reasonable and pragmatic position to accommodate a phased approach to denuclearization, rather than realizing CVID “all at once,” Kim Jin-ho said.
“Even if the two leaders reach an agreement, challenges still remain. If the US Congress cannot agree on lifting sanctions or ending the state of war after Trump completes his term, the agreement might be abandoned by the next US administration,” Kim Jin-ho said.
Trump met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday and thanked Singapore for hosting the summit, the Strait Times reported. Kim also met Lee on Sunday after arriving in the city.
“We’ve got a very interesting meeting tomorrow, and I think it’s going to work out very nicely,” Trump told Lee after sitting down for lunch at the Istana Palace.