Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Pompeo: US hopes to have North Korea as 'close partner' not enemy

US President Donald Trump speaks in the White House Rose Garden during an event on reducing drug prices US President Donald Trump speaks in the White House Rose Garden during an event on reducing drug prices
Deanna Wagner | 16 May, 2018, 11:46

The US will assist North Korea with its economy if Pyongyang gets rid of its nuclear weapons, its secretary of state has said.

"We had good conversations about the histories of our two nations, the challenges that we have had between us", Pompeo said during Friday's news conference with South Korea's visiting foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha. Currently, South Korea is doing much better economically than North Korea, and Pompeo pointed out that with help from the U.S., Kim could see his country flourish and do well like his southern neighbors.

Mr Pompeo said he had "good, substantive" conversations with Mr Kim in Pyongyang in what was his second meeting with the North Korea leader in less that six weeks, and believed both sides understood the ultimate goal of the summit. He said past efforts to denuclearize North Korea had failed because of hasty rewards and the same mistakes should not be repeated.

In particular, the USA intends to confirm the terms of a full denuclearization of North Korea.

"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".

Trump announced on May 10 that he would meet with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.

In terms of denuclearization, Pompeo said "it's pretty clear what that means", saying "it would be an activity that" made sure "we didn't end up in the same place that we'd ended up before". "I'm assured we've a shared understanding of the result that the leaders need", Pompeo stated, "actually President Trump and Chairman Kim and I feel President Moon as effectively".

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"We're going to continue to push for complete and total denuclearization", she added.

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."There's a danger here of the peace track moving more quickly than the denuclearization track", warned Abraham Denmark, an Asia expert and former senior USA defense official.

"We hope that relevant parties will keep calm to maintain jointly regional peace and stability", he said.

In the expert's opinion, Trump's statement "won't produce a negative effect on the negotiating process with North Korea".

The top US diplomat said the release of three American detainees set the conditions for a successful summit between the USA and North Korea.

KANG KYUNG-WHA: Any issue of the alliance, including the troop presence in our country, is a matter for our two allies to discuss and not to be put on the table with North Korea.