WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea faces "a future brimming with peace and prosperity" if it gives up its nuclear weapons soon, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday as the two countries prepare for a historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
The three men flew to Washington after their release to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was dispatched to Pyongyang on Tuesday in the hope that Kim would agree to free the detainees.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump said he will be meeting with Kim on June 12, tweeting "we will both try to make it a very special moment for world peace!"
He said talks with Mr Kim on Wednesday had been "warm", "constructive", and "good" and he made clear if North Korea gets rid of its nuclear weapons in a permanent and verifiable way, the U.S. is willing to help the impoverished nation boost its economy and living stands to levels like those in prosperous South Korea.
A summit of the leaders of South and North Korea took place in South Korea on April 27, which political scientists described as a precursor to the Kim Jong-un-Trump meeting.
She said the U.S. troop presence in the South for the past 65 years plays a "crucial role for deterrence", peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
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Pompeo said the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would however require "robust verification" program by the United States and other countries.
China has welcomed the upcoming summit of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and United States leaders in Singapore on June 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Friday.
He later told a Diet committee, "It's extremely important to make sure (the worldwide community) keeps pressure on North Korea so that there are no loopholes". He even defended Kim when a reporter asked about his rationality, calling the question "undignified" and noting they had "conversations that involve deep, complex problems, challenges the strategic decision that Chairman Kim has before him". "We talked about the fact that America has often in history had adversaries who we are now close partners with and our hope that we could achieve the same with respect to North Korea". Trump noted, "The true honor [of the situation] is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons".
North Korea's former spy chief Kim Yong Chul, director of the country's United Front Department, boasted in a toast to Pompeo over lunch in Pyongyang on Wednesday that North Korea had "perfected" it nuclear capability.
"I am confident that we have a shared understanding of the outcome that the leaders want", Pompeo said.