The United States said on Thursday that in the run-up to President Donald Trump's planned summit with North Korea's leader countries should continue to put financial and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang to surrender its banned nuclear weapons.
U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said that the U.S. delegation would be looking for support at a two-week conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which opens next Monday in Geneva. Pyongyang announced its withdrawal in 2003 from the landmark pact prohibiting the spread of atomic weapons.
"The United States remains committed to complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea," Wood told a news conference.
"In terms of the pressure campaign, things we are very interested in are maintaining the pressure, meaning enforcing sanctions, ensuring that the North is not able to get access to funds that help further his nuclear and ballistic missile programmes," he added.
Trump said on Wednesday he hoped an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be successful after a recent visit to Pyongyang by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, but warned he would call it off if he did not think it would produce results.
"The President is a sharp deal-maker, people should not under-estimate him ... These are high-stakes discussions, assuming they take place," Wood said.
"The President will be going in with his eyes wide open, the U.S. is not naive," he added.
Wood declined to reveal details of the U.S. strategy for getting North Korea to surrender its nuclear weapons, but noted that Trump had made clear he would not pursue a "traditional process where you have a gradual approach that eventually the North goes back on."
"His abilities are going to be very important. Like anything else, it takes two to tango, the North has to be willing to take steps," Wood said.