IF Pyongyang follows through with its promise to denuclearise, private American firms will be allowed to invest in North Korea, giving the hermit kingdom the chance at economic prosperity that “will rival” that of South Korea, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.
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.
“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’ 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.
President Donald Trump and North Korean’s Kim Jong Un have a planned June 12 meeting in Singapore, the first such encounter between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
North Korea promised to officially dismantle its nuclear test site and have invited foreign media to attend the ceremony scheduled for later this month.
State authorities will put the site out of operation by using explosives to collapse the tunnels used for testing between 23 and 25 May, the foreign ministry said in a statement on the official KCNA website.
Pompeo welcomed the news, saying: “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 groundwork for the upcoming meeting with Trump.
He returned again to North Korea last week for a second meeting, after which Kim agreed to the release of the three Americans.
Pompeo 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.”
Additional reporting by Reuters.