Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Washington will agree to lift sanctions on North Korea if the country agrees to completely dismantle its nuclear weapons program, a move that would create economic prosperity that "will rival" South Korea.
Speaking on several Sunday morning talk shows, Pompeo said the United States would not be willing to invest taxpayer dollars to help the country, but was willing to "lift sanctions" to pave the way for private American investment in North Korea's energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.
Pompeo's comments come ahead of a planned June 12 meeting in Singapore between North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, the first such meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
"What Chairman Kim will get from America is our finest - our entrepreneurs, our risk takers, our capital providers...They will get private capital that comes in. North Korea is desperately in need of energy...for their people. They are in great need of agricultural equipment and technology," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
"We can create conditions for real economic prosperity for the North Korean people that will rival that of the South," he added.
North Korean state media reported over the weekend that the country has scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear bomb site for later in May.
Pompeo welcomed the news of those plans.
"Every single site that the North Koreans have that can inflict risk on the American people that is destroyed, eliminated, dismantled is good news for the American people and for the world," he said on "Fox News Sunday."
Last month, Pompeo became the first known US official to meet with Kim, where he helped lay the ground work for the upcoming meeting with Trump.
He returned again to North Korea last week for a second meeting, after which Kim agreed to the historic release of three American prisoners.
"The prospect for North Korea is for it to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way South Korea does," White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, adding that prospects for the country are "unbelievably strong" if it follows through on its commitment.
Pompeo, meanwhile, also spoke about what it was like to meet Kim, whom few Americans have interacted with personally.
"The conversations are professional," he said on "Fox News Sunday.
"He does follow the western press. He'll probably watch this show at some point."
© Thomson Reuters 2018