Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
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Pompeo promises North Korea future 'brimming with prosperity' if it denuclearises

Pompeo promises North Korea future 'brimming with prosperity' if it denuclearises

In a joint news conference with South Korea's top diplomat, he offered a glimpse of what US-North Korean relations could look like if they succeed in reaching a nuclear accord.

Pompeo didn't go into details, but he suggested the US could help the North Korean economy if it were no longer a nuclear threat.

Kang says there must be "airtight" coordination between South Korea and the US ahead of President Donald Trump's upcoming meeting with Kim.

"If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearise, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends", said Mike Pompeo.

Abe also said such an opportunity could only follow successful talks between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump next month, which would raise expectations for an overall resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo has had two recent meetings with Kim to prepare for the summit and, last weekend, to negotiate the release of three Korean-Americans held in the North's jails. "North Korea summit, so we're not talking about sanctions relief at this point", she said. He said past efforts to denuclearize North Korea had failed because of hasty rewards and the same mistakes should not be repeated.

South Korea's Kang shared in Pompeo's optimism and was at pains to insist that there is no daylight between how Washington and Seoul are approaching the talks.


"We'll require a robust verification program, one that we would undertake with partners around the world which would achieve that outcome", he warned.

"If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korean people", he said, adding that the United States had a track record of support for the Korean people that was "second to none".

Pompeo's promise of an economic carrot to match the stick of "maximum pressure" may reassure observers who are concerned that Seoul and Washington's objectives are not exactly aligned.

"If that happens, it could give North Korea an opportunity to try to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington", said Denmark, now at the Wilson Center think tank in the USA capital.

"We very much hope to see further steps, more concrete steps toward denuclearisation at the U.S".

Amid concerns that North Korea will demand the US withdraw its troops from neighboring South Korea, Kang emphasized that the US military presence there must be "a matter for the US-ROK alliance first and foremost", using an acronym for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

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