China and North Korea are Trump’s unfinished business, Pompeo says

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Monday that he regrets the U.S. hadn’t made more progress in resolving “hard issues” with China or getting North Korea to shed its nuclear arsenal, while saying that the Trump administration has made the world a safer place than it was four years ago.

“The regret is that the big issues, the hard issues and the trade relationship between the United States and China have not been resolved,” Pompeo said of China in an interview for “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” on Bloomberg Television. “That work remains to be done.”

Despite President Donald Trump’s tougher approach to China, Pompeo said, the two countries still have an unfair trading relationship and its theft of intellectual property remains a problem. On North Korea, he said leader Kim Jong Un “has not yet made the decision that he is actually prepared to execute” on a commitment to give up his nuclear weapons after two summits with Trump.

Even so, Pompeo said the U.S. had achieved a number of key goals under Trump, including a more realistic approach to Israel and Iran, a reorientation by NATO to confront China and building a coalition of countries against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Asked his plans for the future, Pompeo said he might return to Kansas and that he also wanted to offer a fuller accounting of his time as secretary of state, though he declined to say whether that would be through a book or another format. Since New Year’s Day, he’s been doing that on social media, with a torrent of tweets touting what he sees as the administration’s successes around the world.

“I want to make sure and tell the story that the Trump administration did, so I’ll find a way to do that,” Pompeo said. The Trump loyalist, who’s considered a potential presidential candidate for 2024, didn’t explicitly acknowledge that President-elect Joe Biden will take office on Jan. 20 despite Trump’s unsupported claims of election fraud.

Iran’s strategy
Pompeo also offered a warning, saying he believed that Iran was ramping up aggressive behavior with the goal of extracting concessions as Biden signals that he wants to return to the multinational nuclear deal that Trump abandoned in 2018.

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