U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that there is no compromise on the goal of the complete denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Yonhap reported.
"That's what we need to get for the American people," the top U.S. diplomat said in an interview with NBC, "To keep the American people safe, we have to reduce the threat from a nuclear-armed DPRK, and then, in turn, we can work on peace and security on the peninsula and a brighter future for the country's people."
Moreover, Pompeo refused to say what the U.S. might offer as concessions.
U.S. President Donald Trump held out the prospect of an easing of tough sanctions on the country, but only if it does "something that's meaningful" on denuclearization when speaking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
"Remember the objective – that's the one that you laid out – is the complete, verifiable denuclearization of the peninsula and a brighter future for the country's people," he said.
"I don't want to get into the negotiations, what we might give up, what they might give up, but the American people should know we have the toughest economic sanctions that have ever been placed on DPRK, and we won't release that pressure until such time as we're confident that we've substantially reduced that risk."
During an interview with Fox Business Network, Pompeo said he hopes to see the DPRK's denuclearization materialize in the same unexpected way the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
"I think the work that we've done, the economic sanctions that have been in place, the negotiations that President Trump has led – I hope one day we all wake up and we get a moment just like the one that the world had in 1989," he said.
Trump will meet with the DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Un on February 27-28 in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital.