WASHINGTON, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the United States and North Korea are trying to get the "sequencing" right in talks to end the regime's nuclear weapons program and open a brighter future for the country.
Pompeo made the remark in an interview with KCMO, a radio station based in Mission, Kansas, his home state, in the wake of North Korea's threat to abandon the talks.
Pompeo has rarely spoken of "sequencing," although he appeared to refer to the Trump administration's insistence that North Korea give up its nuclear arsenal upfront.
The North has called for a step-by-step dismantlement of its nuclear program in exchange for U.S. concessions, including sanctions relief.
"I can't say much about the details of the negotiation as those are important private conversations," the top U.S. diplomat said, when asked about the failure to produce an agreement at last month's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "But it's clearly a range of issues around timing and sequencing and how it is we achieve this."
He said Trump's commitment to a brighter future for the North Korean people is "very, very real."
"But it must follow it has to follow the verified denuclearization of North Korea," he said. "And getting that sequencing right and getting it laid out in a way that each of the parties can agree to and take down the tension level along the North and South Korean border, it matters to the people of Japan and South Korea, our important partners, and it matters to the whole world."
Source: Yonhap news Agency