Source: Washington – France Press
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that he still hopes to reach a nuclear agreement with North Korea, despite speculation about the leader’s health, Kim Jong-un and the talks have stalled.
Pompeo, whose diplomacy set the stage for an unprecedented summit in 2018 in Singapore, explained Ben Kim And President Donald Trump, for the second time in weeks, that changing leadership in North Korea will not change US policy toward it.
He told reporters: “No matter what is happening inside North Korea regarding their leadership. Our mission remains the same, fulfilling the commitment leader Kim made with President Trump in Singapore which is verifiable nuclear disarmament of North Korea.”
He added: “We still hope to find a way to negotiate this solution to achieve a good result for the American people and for the benefit of the North Korean people and the entire world.”
Pompeo earlier on Wednesday told Fox News that North Korea may be exposed to the Coronavirus epidemic or widespread famine. He commented: “There is a real risk of starvation and food shortages within North Korea.”
In the 1990s, North Korea was hit by a famine that killed thousands.
Pompeo, who traveled four times to Pyongyang in 2018, declined to speculate on Kim’s health and said he had met several North Korean leaders including Kim Yoo Jung’s sister, who is a key player if he leaves.
A senior South Korean official, who is seeking reconciliation with her neighbor, said Kim was “alive and well.”
The Daily NK website, which is run by North Korean defectors, reported that Kim underwent a cardiovascular operation due to excessive smoking, obesity and exhaustion.
On Monday, US President Trump announced that he was aware of the North Korean leader’s health condition, denying a report on the deteriorating health of the young Korean leader published by CNN.
Trump and Kim met twice after Singapore, but talks broke down last year.
North Korea is demanding an end to US sanctions first as a goodwill gesture before proceeding to give up its nuclear weapons, and recently launched several missiles at sea.