Foreign Minister Taro Kono told Kyodo News on Friday that the first-ever U.S.
Pompeo, who returned from Pyongyang this week with three American prisoners who had been held by North Korea, said the release of men had helped set conditions for a successful meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore on June 12.
Pompeo said he had "good, substantive" conversations with Kim in Pyongyang in what was his second meeting with the North Korea leader in less that six weeks, and believed both sides understood the ultimate goal of the summit.
On Thursday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence praised Kim Jong Un for making moves toward peace, but expressed caution.
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U.S. 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.
Some observers are concerned that South Korea's desire to build peaceful ties with the North may distance it over time from the United States policy of seeking nuclear disarmament at any cost. Therefore, she said, any change in the size of the United States forces in the South Korea should not be on the table at the summit.
The pair, he said, talked "about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he's prepared, in exchange for the assurances that we're ready to provide him, if he is prepared to fully denuclearize". But he said that can only happen if the country completely denuclearizes.
"We'll require a robust verification program, one that we would undertake with partners around the world which would achieve that outcome", he warned.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Washington.
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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.
Pompeo's promise of an economic carrot to match the stick of "maximum pressure" may reassure observers who are concerned that Seoul and Washington's objectives are not exactly aligned.
"We are very clear that sanctions remain in place until and unless we see visible, meaningful action taken by North Korea on the denuclearisation track", Ms Kang said.
To the U.S., that means the North giving up the nuclear weapons it has already built.
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