Pompeo suggests US will assist North Korea’s economy if it gets rid of nuclear weapons
The president and first lady waited on the tarmac to welcome the three freed American prisoners who were held in captivity in North Korea for at least two years.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested Friday the United States would assist North Korea with its economy if it gets rid of nuclear weapons.
The announcement was made at a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha one day after Pompeo returned from North Korea with three American prisoners.
Pompeo said he had “substantive” conversations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his visit ahead of a highly anticipated planned summit between President Trump and Kim.
“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,” Pompeo said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered economic help Friday to impoverished North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons, as the two countries prepare for an historic summit between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong Un. (May 11)
He said while in North Korea, he and Kim discussed the histories of their countries and the challenges between them.
“We talked about the fact that American has often in history had adversaries who we are now close partners with and I hope we could achieve the same with respect to North Korea,” Pompeo said.
He said the agreement with North Korea would require a level of verification that “frankly, no agreement before it has ever set forth.”
He added he would not go into specifics about negotiations of the deal.
The announcement of a potential economic boost comes just days after Trump announced he was pulling out of a nuclear deal with Iran, which also offered incentives if the country halted its nuclear ambitions.
Trump’s issues with the deal were about much more than a cash boost to the country’s economy.
He said the deal, which was negotiated under President Barack Obama and five other world powers, didn’t address Iran’s ballistic missile program or stop Iran’s misbehavior in the Middle East.
It’s unclear what a complete deal with North Korea will look like, but many have questioned what the effect to pulling out of the agreement with Iran would have on talks with North Korea.
Pompeo said there would need to be “complete” and “verifiable” denuclearization, a suggestion that there could be inspections involved to measure whether North Korea was in compliance.
“I think there is complete agreement about what the ultimate objectives are,” Pompeo said, though he declined to offer more detail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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