Human Rights

US ready to help N. Korea economy if it denuclearizes – Pompeo

WASHINGTON, The United States is prepared to help bolster North Korea’s economy if it agrees to forego its nuclear weapons program, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

Speaking alongside South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Pompeo noted he told North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that the US aspires to make the Hermit Kingdom a “close partner” and not an enemy.

He described his talks with Kim this week in Pyongyang as “good” and “substantive.” During his stay there, Pompeo finalized details of the upcoming June 12 US-North Korea summit in Singapore and secured the release of three American prisoners.

He also told the leader “If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends.” However, he stressed there would need to be “complete” and “verifiable” denuclearization, suggesting it would involve inspections to ensure the North Korea’s compliance.

On her part, South Korea’s Kang praised the upcoming talks between President Donald Trump and Kim as “historic,” but advised against the US reducing its troop presence in the Korean Peninsula in response to potential North Korean demands.

She called America’s troop presence crucial to maintain peace and stability in the region.

“The next few weeks will be critical, requiring air-tight coordination between our two countries,” Kang said, noting that South Korean President Moon Jae-in would be in Washington to see Trump later this month.

Meanwhile, the White House earlier said Trump will go into his meeting with Kim “with eyes wide open,” while noting, “we’ve seen some signs of goodwill” coming from North Korea.

“The President has been very clear that we’re going to see what happens, and we hope not just for North Korea but for the entire world that they do the right thing,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders told reporters.

Source: Kuwait News Agency