Technology

Pompeo: US hopes to have North Korea as 'close partner'

Pompeo: US hopes to have North Korea as 'close partner'

President Donald Trump speaks as he stands with Tony Kim, second left, Kim Dong Chul, center right, and Kim Hak Song, right, three Americans detained in North Korea for more than a year, after they arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., May 10, 2018.

Chief diplomats from the United States and South Korea said Friday that a complete denuclearization by North Korea requires robust verification, and that sanctions against Pyongyang would not be lifted unless it took concrete and further steps toward denuclearization.

Kang says there must be "airtight" coordination between South Korea and the USA ahead of President Donald Trump's upcoming meeting with Kim.

Shinzo Abe said in a televised interview that Kim should understand that agreements with the United States and South Korea on better relations and denuclearization are not enough to win Japanese aid, and that the abductees must be released.

He made the announcement at a joint news conference with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha. Therefore, she said, any change in the size of the USA forces in the South Korea should not be on the table at the summit. "Conversations that involved deep complex problems, challenges; the strategic decision that Chairman Kim has before him about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he is prepared, in exchange for the assurances we are ready to provide to him, if he is prepared to fully denuclearise". But he said that can only happen if the country completely denuclearizes.

But he added: "I'm confident that we have a shared understanding of the outcome that the leaders want, certainly President Trump and chairman Kim, but I think President Moon as well".

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"We agreed that the summit would be an historic opportunity for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, and securing enduring peace on the Korean peninsula", she said.

"There's a danger here of the peace track moving more quickly than the denuclearization track", warned Abraham Denmark, an Asia expert and former senior USA defense official.

"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".

Hardliners in the North are believed to see a nuclear weapon as a guarantee against outside efforts to topple the regime, but Trump insists he will not tolerate their growing arsenal.

Amid concerns that North Korea will demand the US withdraw its troops from neighboring South Korea, Kang emphasized that the US military presence there must be "a matter for the US-ROK alliance first and foremost", using an acronym for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.


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