“DON’T SAY SILLY THINGS”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 13, 2018) — Following Tuesday’s meeting in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un to discuss nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Seoul, South Korea to meet with President Moon Jae-in, his foreign minister and Japan’s foreign minister.
As with China and Japan, South Korea plays a significant role and has much at stake in the U.S.-North Korean negotiations, which Trump said will continue on a fast-moving timeline provided that promises are kept. The historic meeting produced a signed agreement whereby Jong-Un pledged to enter a new era of diplomacy not only with the United States, but also with the rest of the world by disposing of his nuclear arsenal, developed over at least four decades.
During a press availability at the hotel where he is staying before traveling on to China, Pompeo admonished reporters not to “play games” in response to a question from an unidentified journalist.
None of the reporters is identified in the transcript of the exchange except by “Question.”
The journalist had asked about the Trump administration’s stance that “complete, verifiable, irreversible” dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear activity must be achieved in order for the U.S. to begin lifting economic sanctions.
The word “complete” appears in the agreement, whereas “verifiable” and “irreversible” do not. After the reporter pointed out that the word “verifiable” is “not in the statement,” Pompeo responded, “It’s in the statement. You’re just wrong about that.” When the reporter asked, “How is it in the statement?” Pompeo responded, “…’Complete’ encompasses verifiable and irreversible. It just – I suppose we – you could argue semantics, but let me assure you that it’s in the document.”
The next question was, “And the President said it will be verified,” to which Pompeo responded in a back-and-forth with the reporter, “Of course it will. Of course it will. I mean — Just so you know, you could ask me this – I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous. I just have to be honest with you. It’s a game and one ought not play games with serious matters like this.”
When the question of “But how will it be verified?” was voiced, Pompeo responded that “the modalities are beginning to develop” while conceding that “There’ll be a great deal of work to do. It’s – there’s a long way to go, there’s much to think about,” followed by, “don’t say silly things.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump had made his own remarks on Twitter about the mainstream media, singling out in particular “NBC and CNN.”
“They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have ‘begged’ for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!” Trump punctuated his statement.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.