Excerpts: Secretary’s Remarks: Interview With Laura Ingraham of The Laura Ingraham Show

10/31/2018 01:29 PM EDT
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Via Teleconference

October 31, 2018

QUESTION: CNBC reported yesterday, Mr. Secretary, that North Korea is reportedly preparing nuclear and missile sites for international inspectors. What can you tell us about – I know you are going to go meet with your North Korean counterpart in just a matter of days, but what’s the latest from North Korea?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So I can’t say much about what’s taking place on the ground, but I can make clear that when I was with Chairman Kim, now three, three and a half weeks ago, he committed to allowing American inspectors to come look at two significant sites. We hope to get them there before too long. It’s one of the things I’ll speak with my counterpart next week about. And then we do have the intention of President Trump and Chairman Kim getting together before too long, hopefully early in the next year, where we can make a substantial breakthrough in taking down the nuclear threat from North Korea. I’m – we’re still happy that they haven’t conducted a nuclear test in an awfully long time and they haven’t launched a missile in an awfully long time, but there’s a lot of work which remains, and Chairman Kim has made clear to me – just as plain as I’m speaking to you, Laura – that he has the intention to denuclearize and we’ll do everything we can to assist him in following through on that commitment.

QUESTION: I want to move to China, Mr. Secretary, because we’ve seen in recent weeks nothing that’s surprising to you or me, because we’ve been following this issue of Chinese stealing our intellectual property and bribing, attempting to bribe foreign officials, including here at different times in the United States – business officials, excuse me – to gain access to technology, critical technology in manufacturing, aviation, and so forth. Now we have this chipmaker ban in place that garnered a lot of attention, and it’s trying to – I guess we’re trying to target that state-owned chipmaker in China over national security concerns. How is that going to fit in to our overall aggressive stance against this expansive Chinese behemoth?

SECRETARY POMPEO: China is probably, over the long term, the biggest challenge, national security challenge that faces our country. You saw the indictments of 10 Chinese persons for the alleged theft of intellectual property, aviation-related intellectual property. This is a story that’s been going on for years. This is the first administration that has been prepared to push back against China, and we’re doing so on all fronts. So where the semiconductor piece fits in is it’s part of a mosaic of our strategic effort to push back against this continued Chinese effort. It begins with trade. We want, the President has demanded fair and reciprocal trade with China. We’ve demanded that they not steal our intellectual property. We talk with some frequency about the enormous violation of religious freedom that’s taking place against the Uighurs in China. We’re very worried that China will put the people in many countries around the world, in Africa and Central America and Latin America, in a debt trap that will cause those countries decades of pain.

It is a multipronged effort on behalf of all of the United States Government, at the President’s direction, to convince China to behave like a normal nation on commerce and with respect to the rules of international law.