North Korean officials were unresponsive to messages from their State Department counterparts amid preparations for the now-canceled summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday, suggesting that the Kim regime was not getting ready for the planned meeting.
“Over the past many days, we have endeavored to do what Chairman Kim and I had agreed, was to put teams, preparation teams together to begin to work to prepare for the summit,” Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "And we had received no response to our inquiries from them."
The secretary of state began Thursday’s hearing by reading in full the letter Trump sent to Kim canceling their meeting, which had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore. In his letter, Trump blamed “the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement,” in which the Kim regime called Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy” and said the two nations could engage in “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” if talks were canceled.
Pompeo was insistent under questioning from Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the committee’s ranking member, that the U.S. delegation preparing for the North Korean summit was preparing full-steam even as the prospects for the meeting seemed to diminish this week.
“The American team is full prepared. I think we’re rocking. I think we’re ready. I think we’re prepared for this meeting. I think President Trump’s prepared for this meeting,” Pompeo said. “We were fully, fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting. So I disagree with your assessment that the Americans are not ready.”