Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday exploded at an unidentified reporter who asked him a very basic question about verifying the destruction of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.
Via Congressional Quarterly foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald, a reporter questioning Pompeo about talks with North Korea asked him how he could make sure the country had committed to allowing inspectors in to verify denuclearization when there was nothing about verifying disarmament in the joint statement signed by both countries.
“I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous,” Pompeo angrily responded. “I just have to be honest with you. It’s a game and one ought not play games with serious matters like this.”
Pompeo attacks reporter and anyone who questions whether CVID made it into statement: “I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous. I just have to be honest with you. It’s a game and one ought not play games with serious matters like this.”
— Rachel Oswald (@OswaldRachel) June 13, 2018
The Trump administration has insisted that it wants North Korea to commit to the “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula. However, in the joint statement signed by the U.S. and North Korea, it only says that the country is committed to “working toward complete denuclearization.”
This distinction is important because it would give North Korea a loophole to argue that it does not need to allow inspectors into its facilities. What’s more, it could give North Korea the right to rebuild its nuclear weapons program even if it did actually go through with dismantling it.