Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday ripped into the Obama administration’s strategy toward North Korea’s nuclear threat as “test, pray and cower” — and declared President Donald Trump has “upended that.”
In an interview on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” ahead of a second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pompeo was cautious about the outcome, calling the goal of total denuclearization “a complicated process.”
“The U.N. Security Council has demanded, not the United States, but the U.N. Security Council has demanded the Chairman Kim give up the systems,” he said. “It’s in the best interest of his country and I hope we can make a real substantive step forward this week. It may not happen but I hope that it will.”
But he fiercely defended the Trump administration’s progress in talks with North Korea — slamming the lack of engagement with the rogue regime by former President Barack Obama.
“The previous administration’s policy… test, pray and cower has been upended by President Trump… with real economic pressure on the North Koreans,” he said, praising the administration’s buildup of “a global coalition.”
He also praised the chemistry between the controversial dictator and Trump, who once gushed the pair had fallen in “love” at their first summit.
“Relationships matter,” Pompeo said. “They affect everything in our lives, whether it’s grand strategy and denuclearization, or simple things. Relationships absolutely matter.
“It’s important that the two leaders are able to effectively communicate,” he continued. “And I’ve observed this over the past weeks and months, I’ve watched them exchange messages… and I hope [they] achieve what the ultimate end state is, creating a brighter future for North Korea and reducing the threat of the United States from the nuclear weapons that are today in North Korea.”
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