The commander of US Forces Korea (USFK) on Wednesday ruled out that all joint military exercises between South Korea and the US would be suspended to support an ongoing spirit of rapprochement with North Korea. "North Korea has great potential for the future!"
"I am not going to put a timeline on it, whether that's two months, six months, we are committed to moving forward in an expeditious moment to see if we can achieve what both leaders set out to do", Yonhap quoted Pompeo as saying.
"The summit pledge is important, but it was not a written agreement that laid out what the North Koreans have to do - that doesn't exist right now, so I'm not surprised they are continuing to operate their facilities", said Joel Wit, a Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center and Director of 38 North. Sources with knowledge of the process said it could happen early next month, meaning Harris could start his post by the end of July if he wins a simple majority on the floor. "There is little indication that North Korea has halted research, development, or production of nuclear systems even as talks continue", he added.
China has been a critical player in that effort, and remains so, according to Pompeo.
At the hearing, Pompeo fielded dozens of questions about United States diplomatic efforts to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula, which culminated in a leaders' summit earlier this month between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "They probably do not need full blown tests to go into serial production of warheads".
"They're watching this hearing", Pompeo added, apparently referring to North Korean officials.
"We should remain skeptical that North Korea's nuclear calculus has changed dramatically".
Since last January, the two Koreas reactivated the contacts and initiated a series of meetings on bilateral issues which have led to a new space with a view to achieving definitive peace on the Korean peninsula and reunification.
"So far, such a framework has not been established".