Mike Pompeo offers aid to North Korea in exchange for forfeiting nukes

Mike Pompeo offers aid to North Korea in exchange for forfeiting nukes

The U.S. could help North Korea build an economy to rival South Korea's, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Some observers are concerned that South Korea's desire to build peaceful ties with the North may distance it over time from the USA policy of seeking nuclear disarmament at any cost.

Mr Pompeo returned from Pyongyang on Thursday with three American detainees who had been released by North Korea.

Trump had announced he would meet with Kim in Singapore on June 12, two days before the US leader's 72nd birthday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha stressed that sanctions against Pyongyang would not be lifted until it had taken concrete steps to denuclearise.

"Normalizing diplomatic relations with Japan is an extremely important step for North Korea to tread a right path in the global community", Abe said on a TV program, stressing he hopes Kim will not be satisfied only with holding talks with the us and South Korean presidents.

Pompeo said the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would however require "robust verification" program by the United States and other countries. "North Korea summit, so we're not talking about sanctions relief at this point", she said.

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But he added: "I'm confident that we have a shared understanding of the outcome that the leaders want, certainly President Trump and chairman Kim, but I think President Moon as well".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Washington.

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.

However, his comments made clear that the two sides remained far apart on the key issue of what they mean by denuclearization.

In North Korea's bombastic rhetoric, "denuclearization" has, for years, been a byword for U.S. troop withdrawals from South Korea - an idea that Kang appeared to reject.

Hardliners in the North are believed to see a nuclear weapon as a guarantee against outside efforts to topple the regime, but Trump insists he will not tolerate their growing arsenal.

Amid concerns North Korea will demand the US withdraw its troops from neighboring South Korea, Ms Kang emphasised 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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