Pompeo promises North Korea a rosy future as USA 'partner'

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pledged North Korea can look forward to "a future brimming with peace and prosperity" if it agrees to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.

Trump said Thursday he plans to meet Kim on June 12 in Singapore in what will be the first ever summit between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.

Abe said he is open to holding talks with Kim only when that would lead to a settlement of the abduction issue.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a joint press availability with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha after their meeting at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 11, 2018.

Early Thursday, Trump personally welcomed three freed Americans returning home from North Korea, declaring, "We're starting off on a new footing" with Pyongyang.

Speaking to reporters, Pompeo said the U.S. would be "prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on the par with our South Korean friends". Many traits originating before the 1950s remained shared, but while much of the art and music in South Korea over the last 65 or so years would be considered global in nature, North Korea embraced a self-sufficient philosophy and produced most of its own. It has developed into one of Asia's most affluent nations.

Over the past year Kim and Trump have added a personal touch to a half-century of global enmity, swapping insults and both openly threatening devastating direct military action.

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While Kang sought to assure reporters that the USA and South Korea are unified on the matter, she was slightly more moderate on the possibility of relief, saying sanctions must remain in place "until we see visible, meaningful action taken by North Korea on the denuclearization track".

But South Korea's President Moon reached out to the North, reopening direct talks, and when Kim invited Trump to a summit to discuss disarmament the mood changed.

The American said he had "good" and "substantive" conversations with Mr Kim during his visit. Therefore, she said, any change in the size of the USA forces in South Korea should not be on the table at the summit. But he says Trump deserves credit for bringing Kim to the negotiating table.

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

"We reaffirmed that our goal is to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula", she added, promising "air-tight" coordination. "We're also going to continue maximum pressure until we see that happen".

Kang said South Korea wanted the sanctions to stay in place until Pyongyang takes "visible, meaningful action" to get rid of its nuclear weapons. "We began to work through the modalities, how we would achieve that, but I'll leave conversations about that to another time". In North Korea's bombastic rhetoric, "denuclearisation" has, for years, been a byword for United States troop withdrawals from South Korea - an idea that Kang appeared to reject.

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