Washington DC, July 10: The US department of state has on Tuesday said the United States wants to see North Korea imposing a freeze to its nuclear programme at the beginning of the stalled denuclearization process, ahead of an unscheduled summit between President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un later this month.
In late June, Trump and Kim has held a surprise meeting at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between N Korea and South Korea and further agreed to relaunch their talks stalled since the Hanoi summit failure between the two leaders in Vietnam as Kim stressed over US sanctions relief, whereas Trump focused over Kim’s last year promise of complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has stated the dialogues would likely to take place “sometime in July … probably in the next two or three weeks”, according to Reuters news reports.
A New York Times news report was dismissed by The Trump administration that stated an idea taking shape among the US officials to hope to negotiate a “nuclear freeze” by Pyongyang, rather than a complete denuclearization.
Addressing daily media briefing, US state department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters, “(A) freeze, you know, that would never be the resolution of a process. That would never be the end of a process.”
She added, “That would (be) something that we would certainly hope to see at the beginning. But I don’t think that the administration has ever characterized a freeze as being the end goal. That would be at the beginning of the process.”
The spokesperson said the US goal would remain the same – the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and N Korea’s nuclear weapons.
Ortagus added US special envoy for N Korea Stephen Biegun would be making a visit to European in coming days and would likely to meet his S Korean counterpart to discuss ways to achieve their shared goal.