“We’ll See” if Kim Jong Un will Give Up His Nuclear Weapons: U.S. Defense Chief
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Wednesday appeared to express some reservations about the possibility that North Korea will fully denuclearize, nknews.org reports.
Speaking in an interview with Fox News, the recently-inaugurated Secretary of Defense was asked whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would ever relinquish his nuclear arsenal.
“Well, the experts will tell you probably not, but we’ll see,” he said, while drawing a parallel between prospects for the DPRK’s denuclearization and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, I never thought we’d see the Soviet Union fall, but it did.”
Esper’s comments are notable: Pyongyang has on paper committed to work towards the “full denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.
U.S. officials have since last year’s Singapore summit between the countries’ leaders consistently stressed their view that Kim Jong Un is willing to denuclearize.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also recently claimed the U.S. and North Korea see eye-to-eye on the definition of denuclearization and that Kim Jong Un will carry out a promise to denuclearize his country in exchange for a brighter economic future facilitated by Washington.
But these characterizations of a joint understanding of the process stand in contrast to the state of stalled talks between the two countries, as well as claims by North Korea that the U.S. is promoting an incorrect reading of the kind of denuclearization agreed upon in the Singapore summit.
Similar to the U.S., the South Korean government, too, has consistently claimed that the DPRK leader is willing to relinquish his nuclear arsenal in exchange for economic benefits.
The Secretary of Defense on Wednesday, however, appeared to approach the issue with more skepticism.
Asked if he trusted Kim Jong Un, he replied “no,” stressing the need for the two countries to have “a verifiable agreement in place.”
But he also defended the ongoing diplomatic process between the two countries, as well as reiterating recent U.S. claims that it is not concerned by a spate of North Korean missile tests in recent weeks.
“When I came into the administration in late 2017… we were on the path to war at that time,” Esper said. “Now we’re on a diplomatic path.”
“I think our biggest concerns were with the long-range tests that were being conducted,” he added, denying that it was inappropriate for the U.S. to continue to seek talks following six weapons tests by Pyongyang in the past month.
“I think you need to take a look at the bigger picture.”
The Newly Appointed Ambassador of Canada Presented the Copy of Her Credentials to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia
The People of Karabakh Have the Right to Freely Determine Their Political Status without Limitations: Armenia's FM
Trump Offers to Mediate Between India And Pakistan
Mikhail Mishustin Appoints Trade Representative to Armenia
Armenian, Russian FMs Discussed Karabakh Conflict
5 Day Weather Forecast in Armenia
Croatia Reports The First Case Of Coronavirus Infection
Nikol Pashinyan Is Planning An Official Visit to Moldova
Iranian Deputy Health Minister Says He Has Contracted Coronavirus
Armenian, Russian FMs Hold Meeting in Geneva
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Dies
Armenia Premier: We Started Brilliant Ecnomic Year
Karabakh Will Never Be Part of Azerbaijan: This Was the Supreme Goal of My Life and Will Follow Me Till the End - Serzh Sargsyan
Bako Sahakyan Receives ARF party Bureau Representative
We are Working on Possible Meeting of Russia, Turkey and Iran, Peskov Says
Death Toll Rises as Violence Continues for Third Day in Delhi
Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Takes Hold after Two-Day Flare-up
Seventh Coronavirus Patient Dies in Italy as Authorities Urge Calm
Some Roads are Closed in the Area of the Republic
Erdogan Hopes to Meet with Putin on March 5 ‘in the Worst-Case Scenario’
Because of the Armenian Genocide Azerbaijani-Turkish Designer Says He Will Never Make a Dress for Kim Kardashian
The King of Jordan: “The Saint Karapet Armenian Apostolic Church in Jordan is the Testament to the Enduring Armenian History in our Country”
Death to Armenia: Pan-Turkic Fascists in Iran Attemted to Play an Armenophobic Trick
February 20: the Birth of Artsakh Movement
The Jewish Press: Turkey Working to Take Over Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City
Turkey's First Professional Boxer Garbis Zakaryan Dies at 90
The people of Artsakh have never participated in the elections of Azerbaijan either now, or throughout the entire history of the Republic of Azerbaijan: Anna Naghdalyan
Syrian-Armenian Soldier Killed in Idlib During Firefight with Terrorists
Garbis Zakaryan - Turkey's First Professional Boxer
Nikol Pashinyan Made A Motion To Grant Armenian Citizenship To A 105-Year Old Italian-Armenian
Wind: 4 km/h