Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US-Asia Pacific Relations

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Coordinator: Sarah Wang. For methodology, click here.

This resource will track statements, developments, visits and other interactions in U.S.-Asia Pacific relations given or undertaken by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

To view quotations, debriefs of interactions with Asia Pacific leaders, and media sorted by topic, scroll down or use the links below.

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries Asia Pacific Leaders Asia Pacific Allies & Partners
China/Taiwan Human Rights & Democracy North Korea
South China Sea Southeast Asia/ASEAN Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN
Trade & Investment    

To view the stances of President Trump, Vice President Pence, United States Trade Representative Lighthizer, Secretary of Defense Mattis, and Secretary of Commerce Ross on various issues in US-Asia Pacific relations, click here.

To view quotations, interviews, and policy documents given by and interactions with Asia Pacific leaders undertaken by President Trump, Vice President Pence, United States Trade Representative Lighthizer, Secretary of Defense Mattis, and Secretary of Commerce Ross use the links below.

President Donald J. Trump Vice President Mike Pence
United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer Secretary of Defense James Mattis 
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross  

To examine Asian reactions to ongoing developments in US-Asia relations and the US 2016 Presidential election, click here.

To explore previous quotations, views on Asia Pacific issues, and other connections to Asia from President Trump, Vice President Pence, and other candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election, click here.

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries

  •  North Korean flag. Image: Flaticon. North Korea in May 2018.
  •  North Korean flag. Image: Flaticon. North Korea in April 2018. *Trip was made while still Director of the CIA.

Asia Pacific Leaders

  • "So I have spent more time with Chairman Kim other than perhaps President Moon working on this incredibly important challenge that lays before the world. President Trump and the world have set the conditions for a successful outcome from June 12th and the activities that are necessary to follow there from. You asked about my conversations with Chairman Kim. This question is sort of undignified, “Is he rational?” Yes, we had good conversations, substantive conversations, conversations that involve deep, complex problems, challenges the strategic decision that Chairman Kim has before him about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he is prepared in exchange for the assurances that we’re ready to provide to him if he is prepared to fully denuclearize. And I’m not sure how to define it fully." [SourceRemarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at a Press Availability. May 11, 2018
  • "Today, Foreign Minister Kang and I discussed the summit, my trip to North Korea, and the bold step President Trump is about to take when he meets with Chairman Kim. We would not be where we are today without the close and coordinated leadership of Presidents Trump and Moon. The United States and the Republic of Korea remain committed to achieving the permanent, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korea – North Korean people. America’s track record of support for the Korean people is second to none. If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends. The United States looks forward to continued close cooperation with our South Korean allies on this issue and many others." [SourceRemarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at a Press Availability. May 11, 2018
  • "In the years since, the citizens of South Korea took the hard-earned freedom and transformed their war-shattered country into an economic wonder. The Republic of Korea is now the 11th largest economy in the globe, the sixth largest trading partner of the United States, and a key force multiplier for U.S. leadership in the world. The U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance has been fortified by the trials of history and is unequivocally now stronger than ever. Over 28,500 men and women of the United States Forces Korea serve as the forward-deployed face of the ironclad U.S. commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea, its people, and indeed to the entire region." [Source] Remarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at a Press Availability. May 11, 2018
  • "On April 30, Secretary Pompeo met with Japanese Foreign Minister Kono in Amman, Jordan. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kono reaffirmed our commitment to achieving the permanent and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea and to continuing close coordination on this issue. The two leaders expressed their joint commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and enhancing a free, fair, and reciprocal U.S.-Japan economic relationship. The Secretary and Foreign Minister also discussed other issues of regional and global concern." [Source] Secretary Pompeo's Meeting With Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. April 30, 2018

Asia Pacific Allies & Partners

  • "On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I offer congratulations to the people of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste as you celebrate the 16th anniversary of the Restoration of Independence on May 20, 2018. The United States and Timor-Leste share a friendship based on the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, as well as growing ties between the American and Timorese peoples. The United States values our continued partnership with Timor-Leste for the benefit of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific." [SourceTimor-Leste Day. May 17, 2018
  • "Today, Foreign Minister Kang and I discussed the summit, my trip to North Korea, and the bold step President Trump is about to take when he meets with Chairman Kim. We would not be where we are today without the close and coordinated leadership of Presidents Trump and Moon. The United States and the Republic of Korea remain committed to achieving the permanent, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korea – North Korean people. America’s track record of support for the Korean people is second to none. If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends. The United States looks forward to continued close cooperation with our South Korean allies on this issue and many others." [SourceRemarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at a Press Availability. May 11, 2018
  • "In the years since, the citizens of South Korea took the hard-earned freedom and transformed their war-shattered country into an economic wonder. The Republic of Korea is now the 11th largest economy in the globe, the sixth largest trading partner of the United States, and a key force multiplier for U.S. leadership in the world. The U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance has been fortified by the trials of history and is unequivocally now stronger than ever. Over 28,500 men and women of the United States Forces Korea serve as the forward-deployed face of the ironclad U.S. commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea, its people, and indeed to the entire region." [SourceRemarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at a Press Availability. May 11, 2018
  • "On April 30, Secretary Pompeo met with Japanese Foreign Minister Kono in Amman, Jordan. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kono reaffirmed our commitment to achieving the permanent and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea and to continuing close coordination on this issue. The two leaders expressed their joint commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and enhancing a free, fair, and reciprocal U.S.-Japan economic relationship. The Secretary and Foreign Minister also discussed other issues of regional and global concern." [Source] Secretary Pompeo's Meeting With Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. April 30, 2018
  • "I also want to congratulate the Republic of Korea and North Korea on the historic meeting, and the Korean people’s aspirations for peace and prosperity. Let there be no doubt: We would not be where we are today without President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign and the work that has been done all around the world to apply pressure to North Korea. We are encouraged by President Moon and Leader Kim Jong-un’s stated goal of complete denuclearization in the Panmunjom Declaration. We’re studying the declaration closely to understand whether Leader Kim made any new commitments as part of this agreement. Our objective remains unchanged. We’re committed to permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Koreans’ weapons of mass destruction programs without delay. Until then, the global maximum pressure campaign will continue. As the President has said, the United States will not repeat the mistakes of the past. These talks and any others do not supersede any UN Security Council resolutions or any other sanctions. As always, the United States will continue to coordinate closely with our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, on our unified response. North Korean promises are good, but transparent, verifiable action is essential." [SourceRemarks at Press Availability. April 27, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Cory Gardner (CO) on China, militants from Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018 
  • During his confirmation for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Cory Gardner (CO) on reassuring allies and partners in the Indo Pacific, China, the South China Sea, and North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018 

China/Taiwan

  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Cory Gardner (CO) on China, militants from Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and North Korea. [SourceClipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Todd Young (IN) on China. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Cory Gardner (CO) on reassuring allies and partners in the Indo Pacific, China, the South China Sea, and North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Ron Johnson (WI) on trade with China and the impact it could have on cooperation concerning North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Marco Rubio (FL) on China. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • “Even while America has reestablished a position of strength in our diplomatic relationship, China continues its concerted and coordinated effort to compete with the United States in diplomatic, military, and economic terms.  For years, through IP theft and coercive technology transfer, China has exploited weak U.S. trade policy and leeched wealth and secrets from our economy.  Militarily, it continues its provocation in the South and East China Seas, in cyberspace, and even in outer space.  This administration is determined to work diplomatically with the Chinese government in an effort to develop a more productive bilateral partnership.  We have been pleased with China’s support of our efforts to apply pressure on the North Korean regime, but it must do more.  The State Department must be at the center of formulating and executing our China policy.” [Source] Excerpts from CIA Director Pompeo's Prepared Remarks. April 11, 2018 
  • In this clip from the Foundation for Defense Democracies, CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed the importance of China's pressure on North Korea, China's cyber capabilities, and China's Party Congress. [Source] C-SPAN. October 19, 2017
  • In this short clip from his confirmation hearing to serve as CIA Director, Mike Pompeo briefly discusses the threats posed by China and North Korea. [Source] C-SPAN. January 12, 2017 

Human Rights & Democracy

  • "[T]his administration is always concerned about human rights. It’s the case not only are there political prisoners that remain in North Korea, there are Americans held around the world by other rogue regimes too. I can assure you this administration – I saw it in my role as director of the CIA and I’ve seen it now in my first two and a half weeks as Secretary of State – is intently focused on achieving the return of each of those as well. We had a success this week. We’re happy for those families and for America that those three Americans returned home, but we recognize there’s much work to do. We still have Americans held and we’re working diligently on behalf of each and every one of them." [SourceInterview With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. May 13, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) on the crisis facing the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. [SourceClipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Ed Markey (MA) on the crisis facing the Rohingya minority in Myanmar (Burma). [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018

North Korea

  • "[T]his administration is always concerned about human rights. It’s the case not only are there political prisoners that remain in North Korea, there are Americans held around the world by other rogue regimes too. I can assure you this administration – I saw it in my role as director of the CIA and I’ve seen it now in my first two and a half weeks as Secretary of State – is intently focused on achieving the return of each of those as well. We had a success this week. We’re happy for those families and for America that those three Americans returned home, but we recognize there’s much work to do. We still have Americans held and we’re working diligently on behalf of each and every one of them." [Source] Interview With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. May 13, 2018
  • "We will have to provide security assurances to be sure. This has been a tradeoff that has been pending for 25 years. No president has ever put America in a position where the North Korean leadership thought that this was truly possible, that the Americans would actually do this, would lead to the place where America was no longer held at risk by the North Korean regime. That’s the objectives. When I said earlier this week that I think Chairman Kim shares the objectives with the American people, I am convinced of that. Now the task is for President Trump and he to meet to validate the process by which this would go forward, to set out those markers so that we can negotiate this outcome." [SourceInterview With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. May 13, 2018
  • "This will be Americans coming in – private sector Americans, not the U.S. taxpayer – private sector Americans coming in to help build out the energy grid – they need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea; to work with them to develop infrastructure, all the things that the North Korean people need, the capacity for American agriculture to support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives. Those are the kind of things that, if we get what it is the President has demanded – the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea – that the American people will offer in spades." [SourceInterview With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. May 13, 2018
  • " I have told him that what President Trump wants is to see the North Korean regime get rid of its nuclear weapons program in completely and in totality; and in exchange for that, we are prepared to ensure that the North Korean people get the opportunity that they so richly deserve. It’s pretty straightforward, and I said earlier this week I think in that sense Chairman Kim shares that same objective. I think he understands that President Trump has put an enormous pressure campaign in place with the aim of achieving a good outcome for North Korea and its people. That’s our objective. That’s the American goal that President Trump set forward." [Source] Interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS Face the Nation. May 13, 2018
  • "North Korea is desperately in need of energy support, electricity for their people. They are – they’re in great need of agricultural equipment and technology, the finest from the Midwest that I come from. We can deliver that. And as I said earlier this week, we can create conditions for real economic prosperity for the North Korean people that will rival that of the South, and that is our expectation. It won’t be U.S. taxpayers. It will be American know-how, knowledge, entrepreneurs, and risk-takers working alongside the North Korean people to create a robust economy for their people, too." [Source] Interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS Face the Nation. May 13, 2018
  • "Well, my trip was designed to lay the groundwork to prepare for the President’s meeting with Chairman Kim on June 12th, now just 30 days away. We have seen this happen before. We have our eyes wide open with respect to the fact that the North Koreans have not proved worthy of their promises. But we’re hopeful that this will be different, that we won’t do the traditional model where they do something, and we give them a bunch of money, and then both sides walk away. We’re hoping this will be bigger, different, faster. Our ask is complete and total denuclearization of North Korea, and it is the President’s intention to achieve that. As he has said, we’ll see if that works, but we’re setting conditions for a successful meeting between the two leaders." [Source] Interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS Face the Nation. May 13, 2018
  • "So I have spent more time with Chairman Kim other than perhaps President Moon working on this incredibly important challenge that lays before the world. President Trump and the world have set the conditions for a successful outcome from June 12th and the activities that are necessary to follow there from. You asked about my conversations with Chairman Kim. This question is sort of undignified, “Is he rational?” Yes, we had good conversations, substantive conversations, conversations that involve deep, complex problems, challenges the strategic decision that Chairman Kim has before him about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he is prepared in exchange for the assurances that we’re ready to provide to him if he is prepared to fully denuclearize. And I’m not sure how to define it fully." [SourceRemarks With Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at a Press Availability. May 11, 2018
  • "Today what we’re hoping to do is – there have been discussions between that day to now, and we’ve continued to develop both administratively and sort of begin to put some outlines around the substance of the agenda for the summit between the President and Chairman Un. And today we’re hoping to nail some of those down to say – to put in place a framework for a successful summit between the two presidents. There’s a second piece, which is we also want to make sure that we’re square about what it isn’t, what our expectations are not. And we are not going to head back down the path that we headed down before. We’re not going to relieve sanctions until such time as we achieved our objectives. We are not going to do this in small increments, where the world is essentially coerced into relieving economic pressure. That won’t lead to the outcome that I know Kim Jong-un wants and I know President Trump is demanding, so we’re hoping to set out that set of conditions that will give them this opportunity to have a historic, big change in the security relationship between North Korea and the United States, which will achieve what the President has tweeted about and talked about: complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization." [Source] Remarks to the Traveling Press. May 8, 2018
  • "Today there are several places – you’ve heard about some of them – there’s enormous diplomatic effort to continue to keep the pressure on North Korea and bring them to the negotiating table, to a place where we can successfully eliminate the threat from Kim Jong-un’s nuclear arsenal." [Source] Remarks at the Department of State's Foreign Affairs Day. May 4, 2018 
  • During his swearing-in ceremony as the 70th Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo discussed US policy towards North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage "Secretary of State Pompeo Swearing-In Ceremony." May 2, 2018
  • "With respect to the differences in the deal, I am confident that Kim Jong-un is looking for more than a piece of paper, right? He’s not just staring at this North Korean deal and saying, 'Oh goodness, there was this Iran agreement between President Obama and the Iranians, and I’m going to rely on the fact that the Americans stayed in that to have confidence that the Americans will do the right thing if I give up my nuclear weapons.' He’s going to look for aligning our interests, right, setting up – what we talked about is concrete, irreversible actions, assurances, that provided him with assurance that if we are able to be successful in changing this it will be lasting. So I don’t think Kim Jong-un is staring at the Iran deal and saying, 'Oh goodness, if they get out of that deal, I won’t talk to the Americans anymore.' There are higher priorities that he is more concerned about than whether or not the Americans stay in the JCPOA [Joint Comprehesive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iran Deal]." [Source] Remarks to the Press. April 29, 2018
  • "Jonathan, what I said that evening I still believe. The people of North Korea live in very difficult conditions. I believe that one of the reasons that Kim Jong-un is engaged in this conversation is that the pressure campaign that has been applied by President Trump and, indeed, by the world has put them in an even more tenuous, more difficult position. And so I am optimistic. We will work hard to see if we can’t find a solution so that the North Korean people can, in fact, live a better life." [Source] Interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC's This Week. April 28, 2018
  • "Kim Jong-un is going to have to make a decision. He is going to have to make a big decision. Does he want the pressure campaign to continue? Does he want President Trump to continue to place him in the location that he finds himself today? Or is he looking for something big and bold and different, something that hasn’t happened before? I don’t know which way it will go. As the President has said, only time will tell. But we have a mission set. We have an obligation to engage in diplomatic discourse to try and find a peaceful solution so that Americans aren’t held at risk by Kim Jong-un and his nuclear arsenal. That’s the mission. That’s the goal. Only time will tell if we’re going to be able to achieve it." [SourceInterview with Jonathan Karl of ABC's This Week. April 28, 2018
  • "Well, I was on a mission, Jonathan. I had a mission to begin to lay the groundwork for President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un. We wanted to make sure we understood that the North Koreans, Kim Jong-un, was prepared to talk about the things that matter most to give us a grounds, a basis, to have that meeting between the President and the chairman. I was very focused on that in that moment. [...] Well, any time you get a chance to meet face to face with someone you get a better read about what they’re thinking, whether they’re really prepared to do something that is historic and different. And we’ve got a long history in negotiating with North Korea. Repeatedly, they have taken actions, only to find that those promises proved false or unworthy, or they were uncapable of achieving them. My goal was to try and identify if there was a real opportunity there. I believe there is. Who knows how the ultimate discussions will go. There is a lot of work left to do, but I’m very hopeful that the conditions that have been set by President Trump give us this chance." [SourceInterview with Jonathan Karl of ABC's This Week. April 28, 2018
  • "Yes, I did get a sense that he [North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un; referencing his recent meeting] was serious. The economic pressure that has been put in place by this global effort that President Trump has led has led him to believe that it’s in his best interest to come to the table and talk about denuclearization. So I’m – I’m always careful. There’s a lot of history here, where promises have been made, hopes have been raised and then dashed. President Trump has made clear we’re going to – we’re going to work to get a meeting set up. The two of them will meet. In the event that it fails, respectfully, President Trump will walk away, and then the pressure will remain. But in the event we reach a resolution, it would be a wonderful thing for the world." [Source] Remarks at Press Availability. April 27, 2018
  • "I also want to congratulate the Republic of Korea and North Korea on the historic meeting, and the Korean people’s aspirations for peace and prosperity. Let there be no doubt: We would not be where we are today without President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign and the work that has been done all around the world to apply pressure to North Korea. We are encouraged by President Moon and Leader Kim Jong-un’s stated goal of complete denuclearization in the Panmunjom Declaration. We’re studying the declaration closely to understand whether Leader Kim made any new commitments as part of this agreement. Our objective remains unchanged. We’re committed to permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Koreans’ weapons of mass destruction programs without delay. Until then, the global maximum pressure campaign will continue. As the President has said, the United States will not repeat the mistakes of the past. These talks and any others do not supersede any UN Security Council resolutions or any other sanctions. As always, the United States will continue to coordinate closely with our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, on our unified response. North Korean promises are good, but transparent, verifiable action is essential." [SourceRemarks at Press Availability. April 27, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Cory Gardner (CO) on China, militants from Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and North Korea. [SourceClipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) on North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) on North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator John Barrasso (WY) on North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Ed Markey (MA) on North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Jeff Flake (AZ) on North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Ron Johnson (WI) on trade with China and the impact it could have on cooperation concerning North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • "First, diplomatic efforts are underway to rid the world of a nuclear North Korea. There is no higher diplomatic task for the State Department team than solving this decades-in-the-making threat to our nation.  The stakes are high for everyone, but I believe them to be the highest for the North Korean regime.  The State Department has successfully rallied the world to cut ties and impose sanctions that have had a profound impact.  But there is much diplomatic work left to do, including supporting the President’s intent to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  That meeting will take place against a backdrop of commitment by our President to achieve denuclearization and prevent America from being held at risk by a North Korean arsenal of nuclear weapons.  I have read the CIA histories of previous negotiations with the North Koreans, and am confident that we will not repeat the mistakes of the past.  President Trump isn’t one to play games at the negotiating table—and I won’t be either."  [SourceExcerpts from CIA Director Pompeo's Prepared Remarks. April 11, 2018 
  • “We should all remember that Kim Yo Jong [Kim Jong Un’s sister] is the head of the propaganda and agitation department. There is no indication that there is any strategic change in the outlook of Kim Jong Un and his desire to retain his nuclear capacity to threaten the United States of America…Our analysts remain concerned that Kim Jong Un is not hearing the full story; that those around him are not providing nuance, are not suggesting to him the tenuous nature of his position both internationally and domestically.” [Source] Pompeo Testifies on Top Global Threats Facing US. February 13, 2018
  • "We should remember we have partners there that are working on this diligently as well — the South Koreans themselves, the Japanese. We have partners throughout the region that share our understanding that this is [North Korea's nuclear weapon capacity] a global threat. We often here in the States talk about the threat here. This is a threat to the whole world." [SourceIntelligence beyond 2018: A conversation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. January 23, 2018
  • "US policy is that we’re going to denuclearize permanently, right, that we’re going to foreclose this risk. But it’s the case, in the event we haven’t gotten there, it is still a secondary mission to ensure that we keep them from having that capability. And I want to say this, too: We often focus on timelines because it’s simple. It’s not the way we ought to think about it, right? The way we ought to be think about it is reliability. Can they reliably deliver the pain which Kim Jong Un wants to be able to deliver against the United States of America? It’s one thing to be able to say, yes, it’s possible. You could — if everything went right, if the missile flew in the right direction and we got lucky, we could do it, as opposed to certainty, right? This is the core of deterrence theory. You have to be certain. In the deterrence model, you have to be certain that what you aim to deliver will actually be successful. At the very least, you need to make sure your adversary believes that — that it is certain. That’s what Kim Jong Un is driving for. He is trying to put in our mind the reality that he can deliver that pain to the United States of America, and our mission is to make the day that he can do that as far off as possible." [SourceIntelligence beyond 2018: A conversation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. January 23, 2018
  • "It is more than just regime preservation that we are concerned he [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] will use [nuclear weapons]. We talk about the nuclear risk all the time. That gets the brunt of the world’s attention and appropriately so, but his conventional forces alone, right, close to a million under arms, depending on how you count them, is no small thing. And so we do believe that Kim Jong Un, given these tool sets would use them for things besides simply regime protection; that is, to put pressure on what is his ultimate goal, which is reunification of the peninsula under his authority. And so we don’t think it’s the case that he’s simply going to use this tool set for self-preservation. We think he’ll use it in a way that is either — call it what you will, call it coercive — is perhaps the best way to think about how Kim Jong Un is prepared to potentially use these weapons." [SourceIntelligence beyond 2018: A conversation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. January 23, 2018
  • "So we’re concerned that he may not be getting really good, accurate information. It is not a healthy thing to be a senior leader and bring bad news to Kim Jong Un. Tell someone you’re going to do that, and try to get life insurance. I dare you. (Laughs.) So we are doing — we’re taking the real-world actions that we think will make unmistakable to Kim Jong Un that we are intent on denuclearization. We’re counting on the fact that he’ll see it. We’re confident that he will. And then, we will continue to have discussions about how to achieve that denuclearization." [SourceIntelligence beyond 2018: A conversation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. January 23, 2018
  • "Other than to say this: They have moved at a very rapid clip, make no mistake about it. Their testing capacity has improved, and the frequency that they have tests, which are materially successful, has also improved, putting them ever closer to a place where Americans can be held at risk. I think that’s a true statement. It is also analytically true that Kim Jong Un will not rest with a single successful test, right? The logical next step would be to develop an arsenal of weapons; that is, not one, not a showpiece, not something to drive on a parade route on February 8, but rather the capacity to deliver from multiple firings of these missiles simultaneously. And that increases the risk to America, and that’s the very mission set that President Trump has directed the government to figure out a way to make sure it never occurs." [SourceIntelligence beyond 2018: A conversation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. January 23, 2018
  • CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed North Korea on Fox News Sunday. [Source] C-SPAN. January 7, 2018
  • In this clip from the Reagan Defense Forum, CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed the need to counter North Korea's nuclear capacity not just as a protectorate for its regime but as an offensive capability to further other aims. [Source] C-SPAN. December 2, 2017
  • In this clip from the Reagan Defense Forum, CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed North Korea's nuclear capabilities, the lack of information available to Kim Jong Un, and China's role in mitigating the threat posed by North Korea. [Source] C-SPAN. December 2, 2017
  • In this clip from the Foundation for Defense Democracies, CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed ties between North Korea and Iran as a microcosm of the nuclear proliferation threat, North Korea's threat posing a potential push for other countries in Asia to build their own nuclear weapons, the status of North Korea's nuclear tests, and its cyber capabilites. [Source] C-SPAN. October 19, 2017
  • "Next, there’s North Korea. [emphasis in original remarks] Pyongyang is pushing 24 hours a day to develop an ICBM that can reach the continental United States with a nuclear warhead. As we witnessed last week, North Korea conducted its inaugural launch of an ICBM, underscoring the gravity of this threat. CIA is working hard on collection and analysis to support the President’s priority—finding a space where the North Korean regime decides that developing this weapon is not worth the risk or expense it entails. For 20 years, America has whistled past the graveyard, hoping that North Korea would turn colors and become part of Western civilization. There’s no evidence that’s going to happen, absent concrete policies that press the North Koreans to de-nuclearize." [Source] Director Pompeo Delivers Remarks at INSA. July 11, 2017 
  • "Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea,” said CIA Director Mike Pompeo.  “It also reflects the dynamism and agility that CIA brings to evolving national security challenges." [Source] CIA Estabishes Korea Mission Center. May 10, 2017
  • In this short clip from his confirmation hearing to serve as CIA Director, Mike Pompeo briefly discusses the threats posed by China and North Korea. [Source] C-SPAN. January 12, 2017 

South China Sea

  • During his confirmation for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Cory Gardner (CO) on reassuring allies and partners in the Indo Pacific, China, the South China Sea, and North Korea. [SourceClipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018 

Southeast Asia/ASEAN

  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) on the crisis facing the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Ed Markey (MA) on the crisis facing the Rohingya minority in Myanmar (Burma). [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018
  • During his confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Cory Gardner (CO) on China, militants from Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and North Korea. [SourceClipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018 

Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN

  

Trade & Investment

  •  During his confirmation for Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo answered questions from Senator Ron Johnson (WI) on trade with China and the impact it could have on cooperation concerning North Korea. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage “Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Confirmation Hearing.” April 12, 2018 

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Methodology: Policy materials and quotations from Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo are limited to after January 12, 2017 when he underwent a confirmation hearing before the Senate to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Should any quotations before the period be deemed relevant they will be indicated by an asterisk (*) after the date. In all cases, these additional quotations were made within the year prior to the start of the Trump Administration. Flag icons that indicate which countries members of the Trump administration have traveled to are provided by Freepik, accessed through www.flaticon.com.

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