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Mike Pompeo (L) shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in this undated image in Pyongyang, North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “no less than half a dozen times” that he would denuclearize his nation, Pompeo said Tuesday on Fox’s Houston TV station KRIV.
Pompeo said Kim is “committed” to giving up his country’s nuclear weapons program. Now, “we just need to figure out how to do it,” Pompeo said.
He added that the U.S. goal of denuclearizing North Korea would keep America safe and would stop South Korea and Japan “from being under this threat.”
Pompeo’s comments come after the failed summit between Kim and President Donald Trump that took place last month in Vietnam. Trump was pushing for North Korea to completely denuclearize, while Kim sought an ease in sanctions. However, the summit, which was slated to end with a signing ceremony for some form of agreement between the two nations, was cut short because the countries couldn’t agree on terms.
Pompeo said after the summit that though North Korea was willing to denuclearize one weapons facility, the Yongbyon nuclear complex, it would still leave North Korea with “missiles, still leaves warheads and weapons systems, so there’s a lot of other elements we just couldn’t get to.”
“Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times,” Trump said after the summit.
However, the officials said that the no-deal summit did not have a harsh end and that both countries continue to make progress.
In his interview with KRIV, Pompeo said that though Kim told him “face-to-face, personally” that he would denuclearize North Korea, Pompeo said the U.S. needs to see action from the country. North Korea has broken promises to denuclearize in the past.
Two days after the summit ended, NBC News published satellite images that showed North Korea was rebuilding its long-range rocket site at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
“We will only value action,” Pompeo said. “Talk is cheap.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.