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N Korea must dismantle weapons program: US secretary of state

North Korea must commit to immediately dismantling its weapons program, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has demanded.

At his swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday at the State Department’s headquarters in Washington, DC, the former CIA chief said that efforts to denuclearize North Korea were still in the “beginning stages.”

“We are committed to the permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program and to do so without delay,” Pompeo said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month agreed for a meeting with US President Donald Trump after Pompeo met with Kim secretively in North Korea.

Kim and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a joint declaration on Friday agreeing to work for the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” following their historic summit.

During their first summit in more than a decade, the two leaders stated that they would seek an agreement to establish “permanent” and “solid” peace on the Korean peninsula.

The landmark declaration also includes pledges to pursue military arms reduction, cease “hostile acts,” turn their fortified border into a “peace zone,” and seek multilateral talks with other nations, such as the US.

During the meeting on Friday with Moon, Kim reportedly said he would give up his nuclear weapons if the US pledges not to invade his country.

Trump said that Americans should be “proud” of the progress being made towards establishing peace on the Korean peninsula.

He hailed the meeting between the two Korean leaders as an end to the Korean War, which ended in 1953 when the two countries signed the ceasefire – the Korean Armistice Agreement.

On Sunday, Pompeo said that the Trump administration has its “eyes wide open” when it comes to North Korea, referring to the country’s nuclear and missile programs.

On the same day, new US National Security Adviser John Bolton said he was considering a “Libya model” to denuclearize North Korea, a model that Pyongyang has singled out in the past as a source of its distrust for Washington.

However, some analysts have said that China would never allow the United States to employ “the Libya model” to denuclearize North Korea.