Pompeo promises N. Korea future 'brimming with prosperity' if it denuclearizes

Alexei Nikolsky  Russian presidential press service  TASS

Alexei Nikolsky Russian presidential press service TASS

In a joint news conference with South Korea's top diplomat, he offered a glimpse of what US-North Korean relations could look like if they succeed in reaching a nuclear accord. The location of the upcoming meeting was revealed hours after three American prisoners were released by North Korea and came back to the United States.

She also said there must be "airtight" coordination between South Korea and the U.S. ahead of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un historic meeting on 12 June.

Pompeo says the goal of talks with North Korea is complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"It's a big undertaking for sure, but one that Chairman Kim and I had the opportunity to have a good, sound discussion on, so that I think we had a pretty good understanding between our two countries what the shared objectives are", Pompeo said.

U.S. Secretary of state called the main requirement.

Japan says North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to train agents in Japanese culture and language to spy on South Korea.

The pair, he said, talked "about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he's prepared, in exchange for the assurances that we're ready to provide him, if he is prepared to fully denuclearize".

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

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The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification was signed by South and North Korean leaders, which laid out a peaceful path forward.

"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 U.S. defense official.

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

"If that happens, it could give North Korea an opportunity to try to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington", said Denmark, now at the Wilson Center think tank in the U.S. capital.

To the United States, that means the North giving up the nuclear weapons it has already built.

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

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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