The second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will reportedly take place without the North Korean government providing a list of nuclear weapons and missile sites.
What's going on?
Speaking exclusively with NBC News, Vice President Mike Pence was asked about reports that North Korea was still developing its nuclear arsenal. Pence didn't deny these reports, but instead pointed to the sanctions that the U.S. had kept in place:
Look, here in Singapore six months ago, the president and Chairman Kim sat down, and reached an agreement to achieve denuclearization. But the reason why the president kept the sanctions in place is because until we have a plan and that plan is implemented, to achieve complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization, we're going to keep the pressure on. I mean, the mistakes of the past can easily be described as one administration after another in both political parties with regard to North Korea, where promises were made for denuclearization, relief was given to North Korea, then promises were broken.
Pence is referring to promises to denuclearize that the North Korean regime made in 1985, 1992, 1994, 2005, 2007, and 2012. Each of these times, the North Korean government went back on its word and proceeded to work on developing its nuclear program.
NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard asked Pence about whether the U.S. needed a complete list of North Korean weapons and facilities before the next summit could be held. North Korea has refused to turn over relevant information about the extent of its nuclear program, or allow inspectors inside its borders to monitor its progress.
What is Pence's plan for next summit?
Pence said that the important thing was coming away from that second summit with a plan to move forward toward more denuclearization, and a plan for getting such a list.
I think it will be absolutely imperative in this next summit, that we come away with a plan for identifying all of the weapons in question, identifying all the development sites, allowing for inspections of those sites, and a plan dismantling a nuclear weapon. So the goal here is the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Pence said that now the negotiations have reached a point where the U.S. needs “to see results.”
On Thursday, before the interview, Pence met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The South Korean government is eager to reach a deal with North Korea, and has encouraged the U.S. to sign a peace treaty officially ending the Korean War.
The next summit between Trump and Kim will happen sometime in 2019.