Washington: US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has promised North Korea a rosy future if it gets rid of its nuclear weapons.
In a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung wha, Pompeo said, "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," reported.
Pompeo said this after he met the South Korean Foreign Minister in Washington, a day after bringing home three Americans imprisoned in North Korea.
This meeting comes ahead of South Korean President Moon Jae in's scheduled visit to the White House on May 22.
After a recently concluded trip to North Korea, Pompeo mentioned that the conversations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were warm despite the leader's long list of alleged human rights abuses.
With regard to the meeting with the dictator, Pompeo said that they had "good" conversations that involved "deep, complex problems, challenges the strategic decision that Chairman Kim has before him about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he is prepared in exchange for the assurances that we're ready to provide to him if he is prepared to fully denuclearise."
On the other hand, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang said that despite the promise, the international sanctions on North Korea would stay.
"We've been very clear that the sanctions remain in place until and unless we see visible meaningful action taken by North Korea on the denuclearization track," Kang said.
Pompeo also raised the issue of a robust verification programme, as he said that the process of denuclearisation would be a time taking one, given North Korea's mountainous geography.
"For decades, we have been adversaries. Now we are hopeful that we can work together to resolve this conflict," Pompeo said.
This comes at a time when US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's meet in Singapore is scheduled for June 12 in order to discuss the denuclearisation issue.