Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is talking about North Korea and denuclearization.
He told a conservative podcast released on Thursday that he “regrets” the previous administration not making more headway with North Korea and its nuclear weapons, according to The Hill.
“I regret that we didn’t make more progress,” Pompeo said.
He continued, “We convinced him not to do more nuclear testing and more long-range missile testing, but we weren’t able [to] get him to give up his nuclear program. You know, we got three Americans back.”
In April 2019, North Korea said it did not want to deal with Pompeo any longer on nuclear negotiations, according to Reuters.
“I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled,” senior foreign ministry official Kwon Jong Gun said, adding, “Therefore, even in the case of possible resumption of the dialogue with the United States, I wish our dialogue counterpart would be not Pompeo but other person who is more careful and mature in communicating with us.”
Trump met with North Korean Leader Kim Jung Un twice but both times failed in reaching a deal on denuclearization.
During the podcast, Pompeo also touched on when he was the director of the CIA and his secret trip to the Hermit Kingdom in April 2018. He said they “were trying to take the tension level down and create a situation where we could have a rational discussion.”
“The president was prepared to consider whether a summit might be appropriate. It was really quite the, quite the experience,” the former secretary of state added.
Pompeo took another trip to North Korea after he was confirmed as the secretary of state in May 2018. He went on that trip to bring back three American prisoners who were held on charges of espionage.
Reflecting on his trips to North Korea and meeting with Kim, Pompeo said, “When I became CIA director, [I] had no earthly idea that one day I’d be on a quiet plane traveling in the dark to land at an airstrip in Pyongyang to meet Chairman Kim, who had committed the most horrific crimes against humanity,” adding, “I had a couple of months to prepare for it, but nothing can quite prepare you for being there.”
Pompeo is viewed as a potential 2024 presidential contender.