Pompeo: U.S. willing to help North Korea economy if it gives up nukes

WASHINGTON — The United States is willing to help North Korea with its economy if the North gets rid of its nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday. Pompeo held a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha the day after he returned from Pyongyang with three American detainees released by North Korea.

Pompeo said the goal of talks with North Korea is complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He also said he had “good” and “substantive” conversations with leader Kim Jong Un during his visit.

Kang said there must be “airtight” coordination between South Korea and the U.S. ahead of President Donald Trump’s upcoming meeting with Kim. 

On Thursday, Mr. Trump said he will be meeting with Kim on June 12, tweeting “we will both try to make it a very special moment for world peace!” The tweet came hours after Mr. Trump led a dramatic overnight welcome ceremony for the three Americans released by North Korea — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song, and Tony Kim. After greeting them privately on board a government plane, the president and first lady escorted them in front of cameras.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea to secure the prisoner’s release. State Department official Brian Hook was with him and among the first Americans to see the three men.

“One of them walked up to me, shook my hand. I said, ‘Welcome home.’ He said, ‘God bless America,'” Hook said.

Administration officials consider the release an encouraging signal ahead of next month’s summit.

“Kim Jong Un has said publicly and in discussions is that he is prepared, he is prepared to negotiate to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Vice President Mike Pence told “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan on “CBS This Morning.” “Those words are important, but we’ll see what they mean.”

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Categories: International News, US & World News

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