On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed a large missile North Korea displayed at a military parade over the weekend. Pompeo said that President Trump’s negotiations with Pyongyang have reduced risks for the US.
North Korea showed off what appeared to be a large new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that caused alarm in Washington, which was likely Pyongyang’s intention. But Pompeo pointed out that North Korea hasn’t tested any new ICBM’s in recent years.
“The North Koreans, however, last year did exactly zero intercontinental ballistic missile tests. The same held true for the year before that,” Pompeo said. “So the agreement, the understandings, albeit not achieving our ultimate objective in North Korea, has certainly led to reduced risks for the United States.”
Over at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper met with his South Korean counterpart. “We agree that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs remain a serious threat to the security and stability of the region and the world,” Esper said.
Also on Wednesday, former national security advisor turned best-selling author John Bolton trashed Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea in an interview. “The fact is that we wasted a lot of time with Trump’s failed diplomacy with North Korea,” Bolton said.
Bolton is credited by many with sabotaging Trump’s talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. The former official often called for North Korea’s nuclear disarmament to follow the “Libyan model.” Libya never had nuclear weapons but gave up its nuclear capabilities in 2003 to curry favor with the US, only to be a victim of a NATO invasion eight years later.