tv Secretary of State Pompeo on North Korea CSPAN May 24, 2018 12:19pm-12:35pm EDT
and ultimately it's only that dialogue that matters. someday i look very much forward to meeting you. in the meantime, i want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. that was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated. if you change your mind, having to do with this important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. the world and north korea in particular has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. this missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history. sincerely yours, donald j. trump, president of the united states of america. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i'm going to ask you to give me a sense of yes or no on some of these questions. do you believe that the current nuclear test suspension must continue? and that denuclearization means the dismantlelement understand and removal of all weapons facilities and material from north korea? mr. pompeo: there are two
questions there. the second one is with respect to dismantlement. i think the answer to that is yes. we are looking for the complete dismantlement of their weapons systems. the delivery capability associated with that. and all of the elements of their program that would lead them to have material. enriched material. fissile material that could be used at some time to build out a weapon system. i think the answer to that is yes but i wanted to make sure i clarified. mr. menendez: i appreciate that. do you believe that any deal must include an agreement that north korea must end the production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium from military programs? mr. pompeo: yes. but as we begin to head down this path, i have to tell you, i've had discussions with chairman kim personally, there have been other discussions. i am going to reserve some space for us to be able to conduct these discussions
outside of the public sphere. i think that's important. i think it's important for our eventual ability to achieve the outcomes that i think everyone in this room hopes we can achieve. mr. menendez: i certainly want to give you negotiating space but i at least want to understand, as a committee responsible for oversight, what is our standards that we're going into? that's what i'm trying to determine. what's the standard? mr. pompeo: i think we've made very clear what our objectives are. mr. menendez: let me ask you further, would a deal have to include an agreement that north korea must permanently dismantle and disable its nuclear weapons infrastructure, including test sites, nuclear weapons research and development facilities, particularly with respect to advanced centrifuges, and nuclear weapons enrichment and reprocessing facilities? mr. pompeo: that is certainly our objective, senator. mr. menendez: would any deal have to include agreement that north korea put forward a full, complete and verifiable declaration of all its nuclear activities? mr. pompeo: yes. i only wish the iranians had
done so. mr. menendez: would any deal include robust restriction ensure that nuclear material technology and expertise are not exported? mr. pompeo: sir, we have a deep aim, wholly apart from denuclearization, of the north korean peninsula and a lot of work under way, to ensure that the proliferation does not occur. men does any deal have to include an agreement that north korea continue its current ballistic missile test suspension, including any space launches and that any agreement must include the dismantlement of all ballistic missiles in a prohibition on all ballistic missile development? mr. pompeo: i think i said this in my confirmation hearing. i'm happy to reiterate it. it is the case that it's our objective, and i shared this with chairman kim, that the missile program is a central component of their capacity to hold america at risk and it is our aim that as part of this agreement, that we would reach, that they would no longer possess the capacity to achieve those kindses of launches that i think you're speaking to in
your question. mr. menendez: and to be truly completely verifiable and irreversible, any agreement with north korea should be permanent in nature with no sunsets on its provisions? mr. pompeo: yes, sir. mr. menendez: those are all very helpful to understanding the standards of what we're trying to achieve. , as we walk away from the summit, where does that put us with the rest of the world? do you believe that somehow we are strengthened in this regard? or are we weakened as a result of walking away ourselves? because of some statements? mr. pompeo: i don't believe in that sense, that we're in a position to believe that there could be a successful outcome. i think that's what the
president communicated pretty clearly in his letter. i can add to that, over the past many days we have endeavored to do what chairman kim and i had agreed was to put teams, preparation teams, together to begin to work to prepare for the summit. and we had received no response to our inquiries from them. so in addition to what the president laid out in his letter, it is also the case that -- i disagree with what you said in your opening statement. i think the american team is fully prepared. i think we're rocking. i think we're ready. i think we're prepared for this meeting. i think president trump's prepared for this meeting. we were fully, fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting. so i disagree with your assessment that the americans are not ready. mr. menendez: when i said not ready i'm talking about, you know, we needed to test all of the propositions and lay out all of the elements of what was ultimately to be decided in a way to find out whether the
north koreans were truly true. mr. pompeo: that's been three times before in american history and kim jong un today possesses the most robust nuclear program he has ever had. mr. menendez: and as a result of canceling the summit, he still possesses them. let me ask you this. in your confirmation hearing you noted that russian bad behavior is the driver behind the currently acrimonyious bilateral relationship and this behavior presents a clear danger to the united states. we've seen a whole host of actions, decisions, undisputed findings of the intelligence community. we saw raaschia deploy a chemical weapons attack on the soil of a nato ally. we saw a chemical attack that russia supported by assad. can you tell me why it is that the president seems inable -- unable to speak of russia in a way that acknowledges that there was an attack against our own country in terms of the cyberattack on our elections,
and actions that we've noted others that acted this way, that were put as a terrorist state, and yet we see no such actions as it relates to russia. i'm trying tond the administration's views on russia. mr. pompeo: you just said there have been no actions. i fundamentally disagree with that. i'm happy -- i brought a list of the actions this administration's taken to push back against russian aggression of all forms. their cyber efforts, their election meddling efforts, the chemical athack took place -- attack that took place. the list is long. i think the record ought to properly reflect that it is far more than took place under the previous administration. indeed, most of this meddling took place during the previous administration. and this administration is now working to deter that from ever happening again. and i think our administration ought to be very proud of the work we have taken, sanctions
and otherwise, against russia. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thanks for your service. in your answers to secretary -- or to senator menendez's questions, you sure seem to make clear what your definition of dismantlement really means. you said you made it also clear to chairman kim jong un. did you? mr. pompeo: did i make it clear to him? mr. johnson: how clear? how many times did you repeat it? mr. pompeo: sir, i spoke in english. there was a translator. but our team confirmed that the translator said what i said. i don't know. i had two meetings, maybe three hours-plus total. enough that i understood him to have understood what it was i was saying. indeed, put aside what i said, when i heard back from him -- mr. johnson: that's what i wanted to ask you. mr. pompeo: when i heard back from him, there was little doubt in my mind that he
understood the scope of what it was we were asking for, what the nature of what would have to take place, the verification that we would need to undertake in order to be comfortable, that we could begin to deliver the assurances that he in return asked for. so i think we were having a real conversation where there was real understanding between the two of us. it's what caused me to recommend to the president that i thought the time would in fact permit us to have a real opportunity to do something historic. i'm still optimistic that we will reach that point. i know the president is as well. mr. johnson: so you have no doubt that you made it crystal clear and he fully understands exactly what dismantlement means in terms of these negotiations? mr. pompeo: to the best of my ability, senator. mr. johnson: so he understood it. did he have any reaction whatsoever? mr. pompeo: yes. and while i have -- mr. johnson: did he resist it? did he seem welcoming to it? what with a his, as best you could determine through translate rts, what was --
translators, what was his reaction to really was table stakes? mr. pompeo: he was surprised. there would be no surprise what secretary pompeo's brief would be when we walked into the room. we made this clear through multiple channels over months of this administration. so there was no surprise. the conversation resolved around how it is we would achieve that, what the mechanisms might be to achieve that. and how the united states would demonstrate in return that we were committed to the assurances that we were prepared to provide to him. mr. johnson: so you say he basically accepted thormse of a negotiation -- those terms of a negotiation, he knew the u.s. side would be pressing for your definition of dismantlement? mr. pompeo: yes, senator. i don't know how -- yes. i don't know how you would read the administration's statements over the past months and then have secretary of state walk in and repeat them and not at least understand -- yes.
i think the answer is yes. mr. johnson: so with that understanding, he still released three hostages? mr. pompeo: yes, that's correct. and agreed to have a summit on june 12 as well. and agreed to send teams to prepare for the june 12 meeting between the two leaders. mr. johnson: the point i'm trying to make is the administration has been crystal clear, completely consistent. the result of your meeting was still to release three hostages. so what's changed here is kim jong un's approach to this thing, correct? very disappointingly so. mr. pompeo: i regret the statements that north koreans have made over the past few days. and the fact that we've not been able to conduct the preparation between our two teams that would be necessary to have a chance for a successful summit. mr. johnson: do you believe the chairman also believed president trump's offer of assistance in return for that complete dismantlement?
do you think he had any doubt of that as well? mr. pompeo: always -- my wife always reminds me i should be careful about knowing what's in someone else's mind. mr. johnson: i'm just trying to get your understanding of how those talks went. mr. pompeo: yes. i communicated very clearly that this was a sincere commitment on behalf of the president of the united states, that we were prepared to make that transaction happen in a way that would allow his regime to have the assurances it needed in order to make this fundamental strategic shift in the history of -- in the north korean trajectory, to make this fundamental shift where for decades it has been that these nuclear weapons were the thing that provided them security. and to convince them that in fact his security was best assured by going through this process and working with the united states to achieve that. mr. johnson: so what conversations now have you had
with the chinese officials on this topic? are you convinced that they are going to continue to corporate and maintain those sanctions, which is -- which is the only thing that's going bring kim jong un to that negotiating table in good faith, to actually agree to dismantlement, in exchange to the benefits to his economy and his people? mr. pompeo: i met with the chinese foreign minister yesterday afternoon. he assured me that they would continue to abide by all the u.n. security council resolutions relating to this. and that they understood that those needed to remain in place. not until june 12. at this point we're talking about, in the context of there being a similarity on june 12, but not only through june 12 but until such time as we achieved what it was the americans believed. and i think frankly china agrees would be the outcome that is best for the world and the best for north korea as well. mr. johnson: are you getting any hints that there's any relaxation of those sanctions more, goods crossing between
the border? between china and north korea? mr. pompeo: we haven't seen anything to suggest they've violated the security council resolutions in a substantial way. i always -- i worry about everyone. the global pressure campaign that's put in place is important and needs to continue. perhaps even this morning more than yesterday. that's very important so we can get to the right place here. mr. johnson: what gave me some measure of optimism, i think it's entirely in china's best interest to achieve exactly what the administration's demanding here. mr. pompeo: that's what their foreign minister told me yesterday as well. unambiguously. believes that -- he told me that china believes that the denuclearization of north korea is in china's best interest. mr. johnson: let me just say, i support president trump's letter. i think it's an excellent letter. we need to make sure that kim jong un understands that we are completely consistent, we will absolutely demand that and that
all the benefits will not occur until we achieve our definition that he is well aware of, you know, crystal clear, of complete dismantlement. so again, thank you, mr. secretary. mr. pompeo: yes, sir. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] >> secretary's testimony continues live on c-span3. cspan.org as well. and we may hear more about the canceled north korea summit later this afternoon when president trump participates in the medal of honor ceremony at the white house. that's at 2:30 eastern. we'll have it live for you here on c-span. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered conversation of congress, the white house -- coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider.