No reward for North Korea without irreversible denuclearisation: CIA Director Mike Pompeo

  • No reward for North Korea without irreversible denuclearisation: CIA Director Mike Pompeo

No reward for North Korea without irreversible denuclearisation: CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Pompeo, a former congressman, emphasised his close relationship with Trump - something Tillerson never had - and his time at the Central Intelligence Agency, which he said had given him a strong appreciation for the necessity to work closely with foreign partners.

Dozens of religious freedom experts, including major persecution watchdog groups like Open Doors USA, have backed the nomination of Pompeo as secretary of state.

Pompeo said the State Department employees, in the past few weeks, expressed to him their hope to be empowered in their roles and have a clear understanding of the president's mission. "I think we'll go in with a lot of respect and we'll see what happens", he said.

Pompeo was pressed repeatedly on whether Trump spoke to him about the investigation looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

He said sanctions against Russian Federation and the decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine were evidence that Mr Trump's "national security strategy, rightfully, has identified Russian Federation as a danger to our country".

However, when asked if he would resign if Trump moved to scuttle the probe by firing special counsel Robert Mueller or the deputy attorney general to whom he reports, he said no.

Rather, Pompeo said he would to try to achieve through diplomacy some sort of repeat of the global sanctions coalition put together by the Obama administration in order to pressure Tehran to enter into fresh nuclear negotiations with the goal of getting a stronger accord than the 2015 one.

In one prominent example, Pompeo suggested he would return some of the USA diplomats who were withdrawn from Cuba past year after they were sickened in what some suspect was a covert attack with Havana's knowledge. "I treated them with the exact same set of rights".

"There is work being done today in preparation for the president's proposed meeting with Kim Jong un", he said.

Pompeo told the senators Thursday that "no one is under any illusions" that the summit will achieve a comprehensive agreement on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Pompeo was willing to say that he could see circumstances in which America would have ground troops occupy North Korea. Senator Chris Coons said he was "confident" Pompeo would be a strong advocate for diplomats. "It's one thing for him to have one missile capable of landing in Denver, Colo., and it's another thing for him to have an entire arsenal, and there are things we can do to keep that capability out of his hands", Pompeo said.

"If confirmed, it will be an immediate personal priority to work with those partners to see if such a fix is achievable", Pompeo said of European partners plus Russian Federation and China who also signed the Iran deal.

He maintained he wants to improve the Iran deal and would continue efforts to do so even if Trump withdraws from it, as he has threatened.

Pompeo did not elaborate on what exactly it is.

Iran has paid too low a price for its unsafe behavior and long-term plans against Iran need to be made, said Pompeo. A year after it was signed, he wrote that while the deal prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons for a few years, provisions in the deal that allow Iran to produce nuclear fuel on an industrial-scale in the future means that eventually it will be able to develop nuclear weapons.

Pompeo and Menendez had a contentious exchange to open the hearing.

More recently, Pompeo told CBS News that while Obama didn't want to upset Iran during the nuclear negotiations, the situation now is different.

Booker asked Pompeo to clarify if he still thought it was not "appropriate" for same-sex couples to marry, to which he responded, "Senator, I continue to hold that view".

Pompeo does not respect the basic precepts of the Constitution, including the First Amendment, which provides that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

"I would prefer achieving the president's foreign-policy goals with unrelenting diplomacy rather than by sending young men and women to war", he said.

He added that the USA has fewer Americans in Syria today than it did earlier in the US campaign to defeat the Islamic State who had seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014. "But I have serious doubts about whether he's the diplomat that we need right now".