February 23, 2019 | 01:18 am PT

North Korea denuclearization can get real: US Secretary of State

North Korea denuclearization can get real: US Secretary of State
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo by Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Mike Pompeo says progress has been made in negotiations and North Korea denuclearization is a feasible outcome.

Pompeo said President Donald Trump "is not ratcheting down expectations" about what could be achieved at the second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is scheduled in Hanoi next Wednesday and Thursday.

"Real progress is being made" in the negotiations, he said.

"We came in when missiles were being tested, nuclear weapons were being tested. We haven’t had tests of either of those types of systems for well over a year now," he told Fox Business Network in an interview Thursday.

A U.S. delegation is now in Hanoi for the summit scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday, following another delegation sent to North Korea a couple of weeks ago.

"I hope Chairman Kim will begin to fulfill the commitment he made in June in Singapore of last year to denuclearize his own country," said Pompeo, who visited Hanoi in July 2018.

Pompeo’s optimism about North Korea’s denuclearization came several days after President Trump said he is "in no rush" to push N. Korea to denuclearize.

"I think that North Korea and Chairman Kim have some very positive things in mind and we'll soon find out, but I'm in no rush.

"I hope that positive things are going to happen. I think it'll be a very exciting couple of days," Trump said Tuesday.

At their landmark summit in Singapore last year, the mercurial U.S. and North Korean leaders produced a vaguely worded document in which Kim pledged to work towards "the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

But progress has since stalled, with the two sides disagreeing over what denuclearization means.

Pompeo said what the U.S. has done so far with economic sanctions on North Korea will gradually have impacts.

Recalling the story of himself as a soldier at the East German border in 1989, Pompeo said he hopes one day the world will get a moment just like it did in 1989, when no one anticipated anything, but the Berlin Wall came down.