United States offers to help rebuild North Korea economy

Grant Boone
May 15, 2018

"Plans are being made".

Pompeo was speaking after talks with his South Korean opposite number Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to prepare for a historic June 12 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The talks, which are expected to last one day, are set to focus on North Korea's rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes.

Following the return to the United States of three USA citizens detained by Pyongyang, Abe said the Trump-Kim summit will lead to progress on the Japanese abduction issue.

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.

Three Korean-Americans now are imprisoned in North Korea. The former detainees - Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim - had been released Wednesday amid the warming of relations between longtime adversaries.

Pompeo, describing his conversations with Kim as "warm", said he and the North Korean leader reached "a pretty good understanding between our two countries about what the shared objectives are".

"We are not going to head back down the path that we headed down before. We will both try to make it a very special movement for the World Peace".

And Pompeo said the United States would remain on board to help develop the North's economy, which has been devastated by its own mismanagement and crippling global sanctions.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) meets U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) in this photo published in the May 10, 2018, edition of the North's daily Rodong Sinmun.

Officials traveling with Pompeo include White House National Security Council senior director for Asian affairs Matt Pottinger, State Department policy planning director Brian Hook, and acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heather Nauert.

Pompeo said he had "productive" discussions with Kim during his latest trip to Pyongyang on Tuesday.

Separately, Ms Victoria Coates, senior director for global negotiations at the National Security Council, told journalists that Singapore was convenient, and "it is a media hub for Asia".

"It suggests that a major deal is under consideration that involves major concessions on each side", Wilder told VOA.

The Southeast Asian financial hub was likely chosen for its neutrality, security advantages and track record of hosting worldwide summits, observers say. "I strongly expect the historic U.S".

Washington has demanded Pyongyang give up chemical and biological weapons, in addition to nuclear weapons and programs.

Meanwhile, US media commented that if Trump is successful in convincing Kim to agree to a verifiable eradication of his nuclear weapons program - a huge if - Trump will have achieved a breakthrough that has eluded previous presidents.

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