The latest in a series of administration officials downplaying what South Korea has described as “breakthrough” talks set for this week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo says he does not expect anything related to North Korea’s nuclear stance to change as a result of the talks.
“Past history would indicate that this is a fake,” Pompeo said, saying Kim Jong Un wants to maintain his nuclear arsenal, and that President Trump has already declared that unacceptable.
The first bilateral talks in over two years, South Korea is excited just for the fact that they’ve managed to get the North to the table, and there’s little indication that the nuclear program is going to be an immediate topic of discussion at any rate.
Rather, this first meeting is expected to be heavily focused on the relatively non-controversial possibility that North Korea could send a delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics, and the goal seems to be getting a better rapport between the two sides for more weighty bilateral talks in the future.
With North Korea very clear that they view their nuclear program as a necessary deterrent from a US attack, it’s unlikely that matter could be discussed without US involvement, as South Korea probably can’t offer them the security guarantees they’d need to disarm.