Pompeo: US will help North Korea's economy if it forfeits nukes

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines – First lady makes surprise visit to migrant children at border The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Trump caves under immense pressure — what now? Mattis 'not aware' of North Korea taking any steps to denuclearize MORE said Friday that the U.S. would be willing to offer economic help to North Korea if Pyongyang takes concrete steps toward denuclearization.

"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," Pompeo said during a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart.

Pompeo spoke in Washington a day after returning from Pyongyang, where he said he had "good" and "substantive" conversations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and secured the release of three American prisoners being held in North Korea.

ADVERTISEMENT

The secretary of State's trip was also used to lay the groundwork for President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE's expected meeting with Kim, which is scheduled for next month in Singapore.

North Korea has faced major economic sanctions by the United Nations in recent months, hitting its already stunted economy, after Kim's government continued its testing of rockets with the stated intent of reaching the U.S. mainland with a nuclear weapon.

But American officials have said Kim has signaled a willingness to move toward denuclearization amid a softening of relations between the U.S. and North Korea in recent weeks.

Pompeo said Friday that North Korea would need to have a "complete" and "verifiable" denuclearization.

"If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korean people," Pompeo said, adding that America's "track record of support for the Korean people is second to none."