President Donald Trump has been formally nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by two Norwegian politicians as the US reveals its timeframe for “major nuclear disarmament”.
The developments follow Mr Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday and come as the President triumphantly declared that North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat”.
Mr Trump and Mr Kim issued a joint statement after their meeting in Singapore that reaffirmed Pyongyang’s commitment to “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula” and gave US guarantees of security to North Korea.
Speaking in South Korea, Mr Pompeo admitted there was still “a great deal of work to do” with North Korea, but said he expected “major disarmament” to be completed by the end of 2020, before Mr Trump’s current term in office ends.
“Oh yes, most definitively. Absolutely … you used the term major, major disarmament, something like that? We’re hopeful that we can achieve that in the 2-1/2 years,” he said.
“I am … confident [North Korea] understand that there will be in-depth verification,” Mr Pompeo added, saying the initial agreement between Mr Trump and Mr Kim had not captured all of what had been agreed by the two sides.
Meanwhile, Christian Tybring-Gjedde and Per-Willy Amundsen of Norway’s right-leaning Progress Party nominated Mr Trump for the 2019 Nobel Prize, because nominations for this year closed in January, Norway’s state broadcaster, NRK, reported.
The nomination comes a little more than a month after a group of US Republicans sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee formally requesting that the President be nominated for the coveted prize.
The process of considering candidates and awarding the Nobel Peace Prize is undertaken in Norway and the Nobel committee does not publicly comment on nominations.
Former Nobel Peace Prize recipients have included Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
Shortly after arriving back in Washington on Wednesday night, Mr Trump hailed his meeting with Mr Kim as a major win for American security.
“Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” he tweeted.
“There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
Mr Trump’s political opponents were not convinced, pointing out that North Korea has often made similar statements in the past about “denuclearisation”, all the while developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that could be capable of striking the US.
“One trip and it’s ‘mission accomplished,’ Mr President? North Korea still has all its nuclear missiles, and we only got a vague promise of future denuclearisation from a regime that can’t be trusted,” Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said.
“North Korea is a real and present threat. So is a dangerously naive president,” he wrote on Twitter.