Trump says he's confident in North Korea

CNN's Brian Todd reports on the diplomatic disconnect, following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Koreans in Pyongyang.

Posted: Jul 10, 2018 4:23 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2018 4:23 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said getting North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs is a "decades long challenge," as President Donald Trump said Monday he remains confident Kim Jong Un will follow through on his pledges to do so.

Pompeo was speaking to troops during an unannounced stop in Afghanistan, days after North Korea blasted his performance during talks in Pyongyang, accusing the US of "gangster-like" behavior.

"Look, this is a decades long challenge, getting the North Koreans to make a fundamental strategic decision, which is that the nuclear weapons that they possess today frankly present a threat to them and not security," Pompeo said.

The State Department said the secretary's mention of 'decades' refers to how long the US has been confronted by the threat of a nuclear weapons program in North Korea and not a timeline for resolving the crisis.

The top US diplomat said North Korea has "for decades told their own people that without nuclear weapons their country was at risk of being attacked by the west, by America, by some other country." The job for the US now, he said, is "to get the entire country to understand that they have that strategically wrong. Chairman Kim told President Trump he understood that. I was there. I saw it."

Making that happen will take time, Pompeo said. "To think that this would happen in the course of a handful of hours would have been ludicrous, and I've been accused of many things, but not that."

Trump emerged from his Singapore summit with Kim boldly declaring that the US and North Korea had achieved a historic result and that North Korea was "no longer a nuclear threat," even though North Korea agreed on paper to no concrete actions or specific timeline for denuclearization -- merely reiterating previous unfulfilled commitments to peace and denuclearization.

Trump still appears to believe that the document he and Kim signed at the conclusion of their Singapore summit holds more weight than experts believe, referring to it on Monday as a "contract" and reaffirming the importance of his personal interactions with Kim by touting their "handshake."

"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake," Trump tweeted on Monday. "We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea."

Pompeo on Monday laid out the steps to creating "a peaceful solution," a painstaking process that will involve "fundamental changes in the relationship between our two countries."

This will involve bringing North Korea "into the community of nations and then we'll provide security assurances for their country as well," Pompeo said, "adequate so that they know their country can stand on its own two feet and not be under threat."

"If we can figure out how to piece that together, Chairman Kim has made very clear he's prepared to denuclearize and we're going to hold him accountable for that commitment," Pompeo said. There's many hours left in negotiation."

Trump indirectly referred to the "gangster" comment Monday, pointing a finger at China and accusing North Korea's powerful neighbor of possibly "exerting negative pressure on a deal" because of ongoing US-China trade disputes.

"Hope not!" Trump tweeted.

Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the Stimson Center and founder of 38 North, a website focused on North Korea analysis, said it wasn't likely that Pyongyang was acting at China's behest, as Trump and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham claim.

"The North Korea pronouncement was very typical of their pronouncement. It was not aberration, it was very typical of their foreign ministry statements, so you know, I just think he's wrong," Wit said.

North Korea's "gangster" statement runs counter to Trump administration hopes that Kim is charting a new course for North Korean denuclearization and prompted North Korea experts to warn that Kim was repeating the same tactics his father and grandfather used during previous rounds of similar talks.

Pompeo on Sunday brushed aside the North Korean statements in Tokyo on Sunday, responding: "If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster."

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect the State Department's understanding of Pompeo's comment that dealing with North Korea's nuclear program is a "decades long challenge."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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