WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that a planned summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un depends at this moment on the North Korean leader.
Asked in a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee if the summit, tentatively planned for Singapore on June 12, will take place, Pompeo replied: "That decision will ultimately be up to Chairman Kim."
"He asked for the meeting, the president agreed to meet with him," Pompeo said. "I'm very hopeful that that meeting will take place."
US President Donald Trump warned Tuesday his landmark summit with Kim may be delayed, while insisting the North Korean leader was "serious" about denuclearization.
Pompeo would not predict whether a deal can be reached at the meeting, but said a "bad deal" is not an option.
He said the United States aims at "complete" denuclearization by North Korea before it provides any support for the country's economy, and that Washington wants that to happen quickly.
"The model that we have laid forth is a rapid denuclearization that will be total and complete," he said.
"We are not going to do trade for trade. We're not going to let this drag out. We're not going to provide economic relief until such time as we have an irreversible set of actions, not words, not commitments, undertaken by the North Korean regime," he said.
"When we get there, in exchange for that, we're prepared to do a great deal to help the North Korean people."
Asked what he means by "complete", Pompeo said denuclearization would encompass Pyongyang giving up its nuclear weapons capability, missile capability, and the technology behind those capabilities, including engines and systems associated with space launch vehicles.
It also includes, he said, "everything that is upstream from that:" the production of fissile material, and the technology, engineering, and research and development linked to that production.
But Pompeo said he could not answer directly when asked in the hearing if North Korea would be able to maintain a civilian nuclear program.
"We've said that it won't be appropriate for them to have the capacity to enrich" nuclear materials, he said.
He said a key part of negotiations will be creating a verification regime for denuclearization, which he said will be an international effort involving, among others, inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
He said "large teams" were already at work on the verification component of the process.