Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

North Korea must halt nuclear, missile tests before U.S. meeting, CIA head says

CIA Director Mike Pompeo delivers remarks at ‘Intelligence Beyond 2018,’ a forum hosted by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, U.S. on Jan. 23, 2018.


Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday an upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is not just for show.

"President Trump isn't doing this for theatre. He's going to solve a problem," said Pompeo told the Fox News Sunday program.

The United States expects North Korea to halt all nuclear and missile testing in advance of any meeting, Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.

Story continues below advertisement

Pompeo also said U.S. military exercises around the Korean peninsula will continue in the lead-up to the talks. In addition, he said, North Korea must be willing to discuss "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization" of its arsenal.

The U.S. will make no concessions, he added, and will continue to push its economic sanctions against the country ahead of the meeting, tentatively scheduled for May.

After months of escalating tensions over North Korea's advancing nuclear and missile programs, Trump decided on Thursday to become the first sitting U.S. president to meet with North Korea's leader.

On Saturday, Trump said his meeting could fizzle without an agreement or could result in "the greatest deal for the world," with a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press program, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dismissed criticism that Trump's decision to meet elevates the North Korean leader's international standing. He said the Republican president has also been criticized for not using more diplomacy to contain Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

"Now we have a situation where the president is using diplomacy but we're not removing the maximum pressure campaign," Mnuchin said. "That's the big difference here. The sanctions are staying on. The defence posture is staying the same ... so the President is going to sit down and see if he can cut a deal."

Mnuchin said denuclearization of the peninsula is the objective of a meeting between the two leaders.

Story continues below advertisement

"We've been very clear ... that's the objective and that's what we're going to accomplish," he said. He said he was confident the meeting would take place.

U.S. President Donald Trump will not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un unless he sees some "concrete" action by Pyongyang, the White House said on Friday. Reuters
Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to