Pompeo promises North Korea future 'brimming with prosperity' if it denuclearises
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said that North Korea can look forward to "a future brimming with peace and prosperity" if it agrees to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.
"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 told a news conference after talks with his South Korean counterpart in Washington.
"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 also said that the process of denuclearisation will take "robust verification," while his South Korean counterpart insisted sanctions against North Korea would not be lifted before a June 12 leaders' summit.
"We are very clear that sanctions remain in place until and unless we see visible, meaningful action taken by North Korea on the denuclearization track," South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told a joint news conference with Pompeo before the June meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
Pompeo, who returned from Pyongyang this week with three Americans who had been held prisoner by North Korea, said the release of men had helped set conditions for a successful meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore on June 12.
North Korea`s development of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the United States brought exchanges of bellicose rhetoric between Trump and Kim last year that raised fears of a new war on the Korean peninsula.
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had high hopes of "doing something very meaningful" to curtail North Korea's nuclear ambitions at a summit in Singapore next month, after Pyongyang smoothed the way for talks by freeing three American prisoners.