[Photo by Han Joo-hyung]
Former United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who had arranged the U.S.-North Korean summits under the Donald Trump administration implied a pessimistic tone about a breakthrough in U.S.-North Korean relationship and advised Seoul and Washington to deal with the nuclear issue “directly.”
He called Kim someone “we can do business with but can’t trust” because he is “not someone for whom a piece of paper is particularly relevant,” at the 22nd World Knowledge Forum that kicked off on Tuesday in Seoul.
He met with Kim four times in March, May, July and October in 2018, playing an important role in realizing the first and second U.S.-North Korea summits. He said he gave Kim a Kobe Bryant jersey because he was informed that he admired Kobe, as a sign of his willingness to help negotiate true solutions for peace and prosperity within the Korean peninsula. “For it is from the smallest seed that the greatest tree grows,” he added.
The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director also said there will be “no certainties, only probabilities” to assume the intentions of North Korea. To deal with the regime’s mass destructive and nuclear weapon issues, it is important to “deal with the source of a problem directly,” he said, adding “peace is always made with our adversaries, for there is no need to make peace with allies or friends.”
He also expressed his desire that the Korean Peninsula could achieve harmony. “If reunification is ever to come, it must come from the will of the entirety of the Korean people, never through any conflict, particularly one that could involve weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
[Photo by Han Joo-hyung]
Calling South Korea a “scientific and technological force,” he praised Korea’s “prudent and multifaceted response” to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We must use history as the means to map our planet’s future, but in doing so we must ingrain humility, for the future is never known and is most frequently predicted in error,” he said while stressing the necessity of preserving world order “in a manner that reflects inescapable change.”
The virus spread has “ruptured” the world order, and in order to avoid similar pandemics in the future, the World Health Organization (WHO) needs to be “reformed and depoliticized,” he said. “Doctors, scientists and administrators must show allegiance to their mission and not to any government.”
As Korea has excelled tremendously in the information age, he said “the world has watched in awe” for Korea to become a powerhouse in a new technological age in which a Fourth Industrial Revolution will occur. But he also warned about risks that the world is facing when the largest technology companies that “wield power that is greater than most nations.” He said their undue influence should be “curtailed under applicable national laws and conventions” to prevent these companies from posing a threat to democracy.
The fall of Kabul and the destruction of the Afghan army are “assaults on the international system.” Calling for international action, he said “Afghanistan must not become a haven for terrorists, neither can it be ignored.”
As we expect the urban population to increase sharply by the end of this century, he said nuclear energy is “mandatory” to meet the needs of such large populations. He said renewable energy can only be supplementary because of the intermittent production.
He encouraged Seoul to join the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) – a ministerial-level consultation between the U.S., India, Australia, because it is important that other like-minded countries to join this to keep China in check.
By Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]