Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted during a cabinet meeting on Thursday that North Korea will follow through on the Kim regime’s vague promise to denuclearize — otherwise, he reasoned, totalitarian dictator Kim Jong Un’s international reputation could take a hit.
“He made a personal commitment,” Pompeo said, referring to Kim, a dictator who rules over an international pariah. “He has his reputation on the line in the same way that we do, that says ‘we’re going to create a brighter future for North Korea and we’re gonna denuclearize just as quickly as we can achieve that.'”
Pompeo’s comments came minutes after President Trump touted the agreement he signed with Kim following a summit in Singapore earlier this month.
“The document we signed, if people actually read it to the public, you’d see, ‘Number one statement, we would immediately begin total denuclearization of North Korea,'” Trump said. “Nobody thought that would be possible. If you remember a year and a half ago… everybody was talking about, ‘there’s gonna be a war, there’s gonna be a war with North Korea.'”
During a rally on Wednesday night in Duluth, Minnesota, Trump described his meeting with Kim as “an incredible success.”
Trump also provided a hearty endorsement of Kim’s dictatorship, saying he has confidence he will turn North Korea into “a great, successful country.”
There’s just one problem — North Korea maintains its nuclear capabilities, and the agreement Trump signed with Kim doesn’t detail any sort of verifiable denuclearization process.
Instead, the agreement merely reads, “Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” It does not detail how North Korea will “work toward complete denuclearization” or any sort of inspection process other countries can rely on to verify it is actually doing so, nor does it require Kim to give up any of his nuclear weapons at any particular time.
In exchange for vague assurances, Trump has legitimized the Kim regime, which just last year was involved in the death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier. Warmbier was recorded making a coerced confession during a propaganda news conference before he was returned to the United States with severe brain damage.
Things aren’t much better for many North Korean civilians. As the Sydney Morning Herald recently detailed, in North Korea, “an estimated 100,000 political prisoners are held in fetid gulag-style prisons, ‘re-education’ camps and forced-labour centers. Many are killed through torture or starved to death, according to defectors who have fled North Korea.”
Neither Trump nor Pompeo so much as mentioned “human rights” during their comments about North Korea over the past two days.