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Before summit, US discusses security, investors for DPRK

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-05-14 16:00
Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong-un shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in this May 9, 2018 photo released on May 10, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang. [Photo/Agencies]

Momentum continues to build between Washington and Pyongyang, with the US promising to provide security assurances and private investment conditionally, a month ahead of a historic summit between US President Donald Trump and Democratic People's Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that if the DPRK could achieve denuclearization, "We will have to provide security assurances to be sure," referring to the US commitment to the Pyongyang's regime security.

"This has been the trade-off that has been pending for 25 years. No president has ever put America in a position where the North Korean leadership thought that this was truly possible that the Americans would actually do this," Pompeo told Fox News.

Ahead of the summit on June 12 in Singapore between Trump and Kim, the DPRK announced on Saturday that it will destroy its nuclear test site later this month. Trump hailed the gesture as "very smart and gracious", and Pompeo said it is "good news" and "one step along the way".

"If we get denuclearization, of course, there will be sanctions relief, certainly. There'll be more than that," Pompeo said. But he said the US would not be willing to invest taxpayer dollars to help the DPRK.

"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" on Sunday.

"We can create conditions for real economic prosperity for the North Korean people that will rival that of the South," he said.

John Bolton, Trump's national security advisor, also said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" that the DPRK should not "look for economic aid from us".

"I think what the prospect for North Korea is to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way South Korea does," he said, according to The Associated Press.

Lisa Collins, a fellow with the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, said it is still too early to tell what will be accomplished in the first meeting between Trump and Kim.

Optimists will argue that Kim is serious about giving up his nuclear weapons and reforming his economy to catalyze development in the future, and skeptics will argue otherwise, Collins said in a post.

"We will need to watch carefully and examine what Trump and Kim do in the coming weeks to have a better idea of what the summit outcome will be," she said.

 

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