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

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSaudis say journalist killed in ‘fight’ at consulate; 18 detained Pompeo asks Mexico to help tackle migration ‘crisis’ Trump: 'FAKE NEWS' that Pompeo heard tape of Saudi journalist's death 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.

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The secretary of State's trip was also used to lay the groundwork for President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' 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."