US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly retracted his earlier remark that North Korea has agreed to a goal of giving up its nuclear weapons by the end of US President Donald Trump’s current term in January 2021.
“My comment about 2021 was not mine. I repeated it but it was a comment that had been made by the leaders who had their inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang,” Pompeo said to reporters on Thursday, The Guardian reported. “They talked about 2021 when they were gathered there. So I was reiterating this as a timeline that they were potentially prepared to agree to.”
He was referring to a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The development comes as the top US diplomat is due to visit North Korea on Sunday for nuclear negotiations. His earlier trip to Pyongyang had been canceled by Trump over what Washington described as a lack of progress in their talks.