04:39 GMT +324 February 2019
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    Military vehicles line up on a road in Pyongyang on October 10, 2015

    Pompeo: North Korea Can 'Achieve Prosperity' if It Denuclearizes

    © AFP 2018 / Ed Jones
    Asia & Pacific
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is prepared to help North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with South Korea if Kim Jong-un agrees to denuclearize, US Secretary of State Miсhael Pompeo said in a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Friday.

    “If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends,” Pompeo said.

    Any promise on the part of North Korea to denuclearize would require robust verification, US Secretary of State Miсhael Pompeo said on Friday.

    "In order to achieve this [a denuclearization deal with North Korea], it will require a robust verification program," Pompeo said at a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha.

    Pompeo emphasized the need to ensure that North Korea does not resume its nuclear activities, putting the international community back in the same position that it was before any agreement. The top US diplomat promised to work with other countries around the world in order to ensure the complete denuclearization of Korean peninsula.

    He also described his recent conversations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “very good and very substantive."

    However, Kang added that sanctions relief for Pyongyang is not on the table at this point. She also said the topic of US military presence in South Korea would not be a topic of discussion for anyone outside the alliance.

    "The sanctions will remain in place until… we'll see visible meaningful action taken by North Korea on the denuclearization," the South Korean foreign minister said at a joint press briefing. "So we are not talking about sanctions relief at this moment."

    On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced that Singapore had been chosen to host the summit on June 12 after several locations had been discussed. White House deputy spokesman Raj Shah told reporters the Asian island state was selected for its security and neutrality.

    Earlier this week, US Vice President Michael Pence said that the United States would continue to apply pressure on DPRK despite recent encouraging steps. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that such actions could undermine progress made towards settling the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

    Pyongyang declared itself a nuclear power in 2005, and four years later withdrew from the six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization. The country began carrying out numerous nuclear and ballistic missile tests, which led to a series of sanctions targeting Pyongyang's strategic exports and imports and money transfers imposed by the United Nations Security Council and a number of individual states.


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