Confirming press reports about a secret trip by CIA Director Mike Pompeo to North Korea, President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had gone “very smoothly and a good relationship was formed.”
In the middle of his own summit with the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said on Twitter this morning that details of a meeting between him and the North Korean leader “are being worked out.”
“Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!” the President tweeted from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“We have a responsibility to achieve a condition where Kim Jong Un is unable to threaten the United States of America with a nuclear weapon,” Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week.
Mr. Trump chose Pompeo to move from CIA to the State Department as Secretary of State; while he was asked at his confirmation hearing on April 12 about North Korea, no Senator ever posed the question of had Pompeo ever met Kim Jong Un in person.
Kim Jong Un and his nuclear drive have been one of the central items in the meetings in Florida with Prime Minister Abe of Japan.
“We’re talking North Korea,” the President told reporters, as Mr. Abe said the Trump Administration’s get-tough policy on Kim and the North had helped.
“Since the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, we have observed major change in terms of North Korea’s behavior,” the Prime Minister said to reporters at a photo op with Mr. Trump. “And background of this change is Donald’s unwavering conviction, as well as the determination that you demonstrated in addressing the issue of North Korea.”
“So your stance made it possible to achieve this major change,” the Prime Minister added.
At that photo op, the President signaled that the U.S. has started talking to “North Korea directly” at high levels – hours later, the stories surfaced about his CIA Director going there for his own secret visit.
“I look forward to meeting with Kim Jong Un,” the President told reporters. “And hopefully that will be a success. And maybe it will be, and maybe it won’t be. We don’t know. But we’ll see what happens.”
“But I can say this – they do respect us. We are respectful of them. And we’re going to see what happens,” Mr. Trump added.