Pompeo, traveling in Seoul after two days in Singapore for President Donald Trump's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, declined to offer further clarity on a timetable for Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program, a step Trump said this week that he believes North Korea is willing to negotiate towards.
President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that there is "no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea" as he returned to Washington, offering a rosy assessment of a summit with the leader of a nation that still possesses nuclear weapons.
Independent experts say the North could have enough fissile material for anywhere between about a dozen and 60 nuclear bombs, and past year it tested long-range missiles that could reach the US.
The country was as surprised as anyone by President Donald Trump's sudden announcement in Singapore that the U.S. would be "stopping the war games" - the joint military exercises it regularly carries out with South Korea. "Kim Jong Un got respect on the world stage, an end to military exercises between the United States and South Korea, and no timeline to give up nuclear weapons or human rights abuses".
But he said that was no longer the case, and everyone can "sleep well tonight". He met for almost an hour with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, at the air base before heading by motorcade to Seoul. And so do the North Koreans.
Trump said he would "absolutely" invite Kim to visit the White House and is open to visiting Pyongyang, as well.
"Despite its many flaws", Cha wrote, "the Singapore summit represents the start of a diplomatic process that takes us away from the brink of war". Fears of conflict were particularly acute after Trump called Kim "Rocket Man" and Kim pledged to "tame the mentally deranged USA dotard with fire".
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said Japan sees "US-South Korean joint exercises and the US military presence in South Korea as vital to security in East Asia".
Two Air China Boeing 747 jets - including the one that flew Mr Kim to Singapore for his meeting with Mr Trump - were on their way to Changi Airport on Tuesday afternoon.
Trump on Tuesday seemed fine with this, saying he thought Kim was being honest.
"The world will see a major change", he said.
For weeks, Pompeo and other officials have insisted North Korea must agree to "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization" before economic sanctions can be lifted. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", he tweeted in one of a series of early morning pronouncements.
Japan's defence chief said on Wednesday that the United States military presence in South Korea and joint military exercises were "vital" for East Asian security.
Media captionTrump Kim summit: Win-win, or a Kim win?
"I had countless calls, letters, tweets, they (South Koreans) want the remains of their sons, fathers, mothers back that got caught in the really brutal war". There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. It wasn't until Trump's tenure that North Korea began testing an intercontinental ballistic missile and the bellicose rhetoric between the two leaders ramped up.