U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that he is hopeful the U.S. and North Korea will make "substantial" progress on the North's denuclearization in 2019, including through a second summit meeting.
In an interview with Fox News during a visit to Egypt, Pompeo said the U.S. goal of a final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea has not changed and must be achieved.
He said the good news is that conversations with North Korea continue. Though declining to elaborate on the negotiations, he said the two sides were moving forward in their talks.
Pompeo also said the U.S. has been "unambiguous" when it speaks with Kim Jong-un and other Korean interlocutors regarding denuclearization.
He said he is hopeful that substantial progress can be made in the year ahead.
Washington has maintained that North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons before receiving sanctions relief. When asked if there is any change, Pompeo said he doesn't think there has been a single deviation from the core proposition, a fully denuclearized North Korea as verified by international experts.
He added that North Korea has stopped missile and nuclear testing and the U.S. will continue to work to reduce the threat from the North and decrease the risk to the American people.
[Photo : YONHAP News]