NPR News Interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo NPR's Steve Inskeep spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about President Trump's decision to remove American troops from Syria, as well as the U.S. negotiations with North Korea.
NPR logo NPR News Interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

NPR News Interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters at the State Department. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Andrew Harnik/AP

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters at the State Department.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Thursday, December 20; Washington, D.C. – In an interview airing on Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Steve Inskeep spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about President Trump's decision to remove American troops from Syria, as well as the U.S. negotiations with North Korea.

Stations and broadcast times are available at NPR.org/stations.

Excerpts of the interview are available below and can be cited with attribution to NPR. A full transcript will be made available after the interview has aired. Audio clips are available upon request, please email mediarelations@npr.org.

On President Trump's Decision to Remove Forces from Syria;
"The president made an enormous commitment to take down the caliphate, and that has been achieved. We now have the battle, it's a long time battle, which is the counter-terrorism battle, not only against ISIS, but against Al Qaeda and others, HTS, all the terrorist groups. President Trump remains just as committed today as he was yesterday and the day before. And the progress that the Trump Administration has made in defeating ISIS in Syria is extraordinary, and we're very proud of that accomplishment."

"Our mission set in Syria was the defeat of the ISIS caliphate. We continue to push back against ISIS in West Africa, in Afghanistan, all across the world. That threat certainly is out there. He has also acknowledged the administration's continued commitment to that defeat, something that the previous administration could not accomplish."

On Whether North Korean Nuclear Talks are Progressing;
"We've known from the very first trip that I took when I was in a previous role that the challenge of denuclearizing North Korea was not one that would be something that would be easy or without bumps in the road or would occur in a way that was, like instant pudding. The world doesn't quite work that way. We have diplomatically, relentlessly worked to support the president's mission statement which is to denuclearize North Korea. We got the commitment from Chairman Kim. We've made some progress. There remains a long ways to go but we are we are hard at it. Even today."

"It's been a great process. They're not firing rockets. They're not conducting nuclear tests. We have a ways to go and we will continue to achieve, to work to achieve the president's agenda."

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