Mike Pompeo offers aid to North Korea in exchange for forfeiting nukes

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has offered economic help to impoverished North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons, as the two countries prepare for an historic summit between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

A day after returning from a trip to Pyongyang, Pompeo said he had “good” and “substantive” conversations with Kim during his visit, during which he secured the release of three Americans who had been detained in North Korea. In a joint news conference with South Korea’s top diplomat, he offered a glimpse of what US-North Korean relations could look like if they succeed in reaching a nuclear accord.

“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.

The comments came three days after the US president announced he would violate the international nuclear deal with Iran which imposed strict curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

North Korea has carried out six nuclear tests, and a string of missile launches – including three intercontinental ballistic missiles. The scale of its programme remains unclear, although in December Kim announced that his country’s nuclear forces were now “completed”.

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