Hanoi, Vietnam: Undeterred by a blistering rebuke of his efforts to forge a denuclearisation deal with North Korea, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday appealed for North Korea’s leadership to follow Vietnam’s path in overcoming past hostilities with the United States.
Pompeo called on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to replicate Vietnam’s “miracle” of economic growth by improving ties with the US, vowing that America keeps its promises with former foes.
Speaking to members of the US-Vietnamese business community in Hanoi, Pompeo said Vietnam’s experience since the normalisation of relations with the US in 1995 should be proof for North Korea that prosperity and partnership with the US is possible after decades of conflict and mistrust. “We know it is a real possibility because we see how Vietnam has travelled this remarkable path,” Pompeo said.
“The fact that we are cooperating — and not fighting — is proof that when a country decides to create a brighter future for itself alongside the United States, we follow through on American promises,” he said, repeating President Donald Trump’s pledge to help improve North Korea’s economy and provide it with security assurances in return for Kim giving up nuclear weapons. “In light of the once-unimaginable prosperity and partnership we have with Vietnam today, I have a message for Chairman Kim Jong-un: President Trump believes your country can replicate this path.”
“It’s yours if you’ll you seize the moment. This miracle can be yours. It can be your miracle in North Korea as well,” Pompeo said.
The comments came after Pompeo had earlier Sunday in Tokyo brushed aside North Korea’s accusation that the US was making “gangster-like” denuclearisation demands of the North. He maintained that his third visit to North Korea on Friday and Saturday had produced results. But he also vowed that sanctions would remain until Pyongyang follows through on Kim’s pledge to get rid of his atomic weapons.