Mike Pompeo

Xinhua/Sipa USA

Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo Headed Back To North Korea

July 02, 2018 - 5:40 pm
Categories: 

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/AP) -- On the heels of President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to head to North Korea this week.

The trip to Pyongyang will be the first by a senior U.S. official since Trump's historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month.

CBS News Military Consultant and retired Army Maj. Mike Lyons said Pompeo will likely focus on the timeline when it comes to dismantling North Korean nuclear capabilities.

“ I think this administration is trying to get the North Koreans to agree to certain milestones, and get important ones moved up quickly – like inspections; like inventory of all their capability; both ballistic missiles as well as nuclear capability,” he said. “You see the reports out right now of the intelligence community showing that North Korea continues to improve some of its nuclear capability, as well as its ballistic capability. So I think we’re going to want to start the start of getting the North Koreans on the record for what their capabilities are, and timelines and milestones, for them to start dismantling them.”

New satellite photos seem to show North Koreans enhancing their sites, but Lyons said he believes what is happening does not likely violate the spirit of the Singapore summit.

“You’ve got to think, those are kind of lag indicators, because a lot of that material was bought six months ago. It shows you the sanctions really aren’t working in some cases, because they’re still diverting resources towards it,” Lyons said. “But those are projects likely in place – the same with the nuclear capability there as well; the correctness to the reactors, so those are kind of projects. Obviously, the cadre of both of these organizations have not been getting the word. They don’t look like they violate the spirit of the agreement, and I think the vice president will address that.”

After visiting the North Korean capital later this week, the State Department said Monday that Pompeo will travel to Japan, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates before heading to Belgium, where he will accompany President Donald Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels. There, he will also co-host a meeting of the global coalition against the Islamic State group.

Pompeo last visited Pyongyang in May ahead of the Trump-Kim summit and traveled there secretly in early April while he was director of the CIA.

Meanwhile, there is talk of a second summit between Trump and Kim – this time in the U.S.

“The Trump administration is thinking of holding this second summit in New York City around the time when the UN General Assembly meets in September. It would make a lot of sense, because that would make about 90 days following this summit – the first summit – and we’d kind of know if they’re serious or not,” Lyons said. “I think Trump would use that as a home field advantage for Kim Jong Un; get him to agree to more things possibly there; introduce him to the world. So I think it does make a lot of sense. It puts New York City as a key place from a geography perspective on whether or not this deal’s going to happen.”

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)