The surprise meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jeong-un and the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late March surprised the world. During the secret meeting, which took place before the summit, Kim Jeong-un expressed his willingness to make denuclearization in earnest. As he described Pompeo as “a man who gets along with me,” it seems that the conversation took place smoothly at the meeting. Due to this, attention is focusing on the U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo who pulled off a two-way conversation with Kim.
In early 2017, with the inauguration of President Trump, Pompeo was appointed as Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.). This shows that his tough attitude toward diplomacy has been in tune with Trump. When he served as a member of the House of Representatives in the past, he also insisted that North Korea be attacked through radioactive materials. After the appointment as the Director of the C.I.A., they met everyday through face-to-face information briefings, which has made their relationship even stronger. When President Trump appointed Pompeo as a new Secretary of State, he said that “Pompeo has unique capabilities and power. I have great respect for him and trust him.” The hardline attitude of Pompeo against North Korea can also be found in his inaugural address. He stressed the permanent dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear facilities and said, “We are committed to dismantling nuclear facilities in a permanent, irreversible and verifiable manner.” Furthermore, the role of Pompeo is expected to be even bigger after the summit between the North Korea and America in June. Last year when he served a Director of the C.I.A., he frequently expressed his skepticism about North Korea’s nuclear position. He argued, “North Korea’s missiles are being used for threats as well as defense,” and has also mentioned the possibility of military options. Therefore, some predict that if the result of the summit is not good, he will increase the intensity of sanctions against North Korea.
The world situation surrounding North Korea is changing rapidly each day. At the center is the Trump administration, Pompeo, who has had close discussions with Seo Hoon, the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service during his time as the Director of C.I.A., is now considered to have played a decisive role in holding the summit with North Korea. Concerns and expectations coexist over his “hardline diplomacy.” If the relationship with North Korea gets worse, there is a possibility that he will take strong military action against North Korea. At the same time, he has the same diplomatic line as President Trump, so he can support the president’s diplomatic policies. Pompeo's diplomatic sphere is expected to grow further in the future.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >