"It would be a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula, to get those weapons off of that, but the thing that is most dangerous about it is the character who holds the control over them today," Pompeo said, referring to the third ruler of the North Korean regime. "So from the administration's perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two. Right? Separate capacity and someone who might well have intent and break those two apart."
The CIA director was quick to point out, however, that he was not calling for overthrowing Kim, but describing a situation that was neither desirable for the United States nor the North Korean people.
"As for the regime, I am hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system," Pompeo said. "The North Korean people I'm sure are lovely people and would love to see him go."
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said in May the United States does not seek a change in the regime nor a collapse of the state that builds nuclear weapons, even as reports from inside the country indicate ordinary people are suffering from malnutrition and restrictions on their mobility.
Pompeo also said there were no plans to "make happen tomorrow" any moves toward regime change, and other nations need to be convinced of the inherent problems with Kim's rule before pursuing a policy of undetermined consequences.