CIA Director Pompeo: Never Been In A Better Position With North Korea


On this week's edition of 'Fox News Sunday,' CIA director Mike Pompeo spoke positively about the state of relations with North Korea.

MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: Good morning, John. Good to be with you.

ROBERTS: So, between Thursday night when the president or the White House made the announcement that he’d be meeting with Kim Jong-un and on Friday afternoon, the White House seemed to shift a little bit. Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that we need to see concrete and verifiable actions before meeting takes place. The NSC later said she wasn’t putting preconditions on a meeting.

But should there be preconditions for such a meeting?

POMPEO: John, I think it's important to step back, to remember how we got to this place. For an awfully long time, America whistled past the graveyard while the North Korea regime, including this particular leader, continued to develop their nuclear weapons program.

This administration came in. The president talked about at this campaign and put enormous pressure on the North Korean economy and on the North Korean leadership. That gave us this opportunity where Kim Jong-un now has committed to stopping nuclear testing, stopping missile tests, allowing exercises to go forward, something that has been incredibly contentious in the past and at the same time saying that the denuclearization -- complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization as a topic for discussion.

And that’s when Kim Jong-un said, I’d like to meet with the president. The president made the decision it was the right time to begin that conversation.

ROBERTS: So, again, should there be any preconditions put on a meeting? What do you think Kim needs to do in order to get that big meeting he's been looking for with the U.S. president?

POMPEO: John, I just mentioned. That’s what he said, he can't conduct nuclear testing. He's got to stop the missile testing that he's been hard at for the last years. He's got to continue to allow us to perform our militarily necessary exercises on the peninsula and then he's got to make sure that he leaves on the table that discussion for denuclearization.

These are -- these are real achievements. These are conditions that the North Korean regime has never submitted to in exchange for conversations.

You know, John, I had a chance this weekend to reread the history, the CIA history of the negotiations that have taken the place over the last decades. I’ll admit, I took a couple of hours to watch Wichita State basketball. But I reread them.

Never before had we had the North Koreans in the position where their economy was at such risk and whether leadership was under such pressure that they would begin conversations on the terms that Kim Jong-un has conceded to at this time.

ROBERTS: So, what are we willing to give him in exchange for concessions?

POMPEO: Nothing. You mean for the discussion?

ROBERTS: Are we willing to give a guarantee that we are not going to try to overthrow the regime? As Secretary of State Tillerson said last year. Are we willing to ease some sanctions? What are we willing to do?

POMPEO: Yes. Look, these discussions will play out over time. This first meeting I think is between the president and the leader of North Korea, the two people who are the decision-makers, who will ultimately decide what arrangements are acceptable.

But make no mistake about it: while these negotiations are going on, there will be no concessions made. The activity of this administration to disrupt the North Korean economy, to put pressure on North Korea, to galvanize the world in a way that you have countries from the Middle East to Europe and Asia, placing sanctions on the North Korean regime -- those will continue and we will see how the talks and the negotiations proceed.

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