'Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said North Korea will not see any sanctions relief until the country denuclearises, undercutting Pyongyang’s suggestion that Donald Trump had agreed to ease economic restrictions.
The top US diplomat clarified America’s position as he conferred with South Korean and Japanese officials after Mr Trump’s high-stakes met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a high-stakes effort to convince Mr Kim to scrap his country’s nuclear programme.
After that meeting, North Korean state media said Mr Trump had agreed to lift economic sanctions. But Mr Pompeo shot down that claim, signaling that America would continue to hew to its “maximum pressure” campaign of choking sanctions until Pyongyang had verifiably dismantled its arsenal.
“We are going to get denuclearisation”, Mr Pompeo said, adding that “only then will there be relief from the sanctions.”
A joint statement released by Mr Trump and Mr Kim after their meeting pledged that North Korea would “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”. Mr Pompeo said he expected North Korea to take steps towards denuclearisation over the remainder of Mr Trump’s current four-year term.
Administration officials credit a concerted international effort to isolate North Korea and stifle its economy as a key factor in bringing Pyongyang to the negotiating table.'
Read more: Pompeo says US will give no sanctions relief until North Korea completely denuclearises, contradicting Pyongyang
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