US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is downplaying the prospect of a North Korean summit

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplays possibility of summit with North Korea

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed the idea of another summit before the US presidential election between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying Trump would only want to participate if there were real prospects for change. During a conference in Washington on Wednesday, Mike Pompeo ‘s remarks followed repeated North Korean statements saying that he can no longer offer Trump high-profile meetings that he could speak of as foreign policy successes because he is not significantly compensated in exchange.

After embarking on high-stakes nuclear diplomacy in 2018, Trump and Kim have met three times, starting with their meeting in Singapore where they gave ambiguous vows for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula without explaining when and how it will happen. But negotiations have faltered since their second summit in February 2019, where the Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capability.

The prolonged stalemate in nuclear talks has raised questions as to whether Kim Jong Un will ever agree to surrender completely the nukes he possibly sees as his best survival guarantee. Many analysts see him as attempting to shape diplomacy as a negotiation of weapons control between nuclear states instead of talks that would culminate in a surrender of his nuclear programme.