- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday the US would allow American private sector investment in North Korea if it complies with President Donald Trump’s demands for denuclearization.
- This week, President Donald Trump welcomed home three Americans who were being held as political prisoners in North Korea, and announced the date and time of his highly anticipated meeting with Kim Jong Un.
- White House national security adviser John Bolton and US Senator Lindsey Graham also commented on potential economic rewards North Korea stands to gain from denuclearization.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that if North Korea agrees to fully dismantle its nuclear weapons program, then the United States will allow American companies to invest in the country.
“This will be Americans coming in – private-sector Americans, not the US taxpayer – helping build the energy grid,” Pompeo said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “They need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea, to work with them to develop infrastructure.”
American companies have been barred from such investments in the Hermit Kingdom for years. Pompeo added that Americans will also help invest in North Korean infrastructure and agriculture to help feed its people if the country meets US demands.
“All the things the North Korean people need – [including] the capacity for American agriculture to support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives,” he said. “Those are the things that if we get what the president has demanded, the complete, verifiable, irreversible de-nuclearization of North Korea, that the American people will offer in spades.”
This week, President Donald Trump welcomed three Americans who were being held as political prisoners in North Korea in a triumphant 3 a.m. return home, and announced the date and time of his highly anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Pompeo, who recently said North Korea would be “brimming with prosperity” if it gave up its nuclear weapons soon, emphasised the difference between direct economic aid and allowing private investment, which he said would “create conditions for real economic prosperity for the North Korean people that will rival that of the South.”
This difference was echoed by other Trump administration officials who made on-air comments Sunday, including White House national security adviser John Bolton, who described the “unbelievably strong” benefits for North Korea to comply with denuclearization.
“The prospect is for North Korea to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way South Korea does,” Bolton told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Bolton has previously made hawkish public comments that supported preemptive US attacks on North Korea to counteract the threat of their nuclear arsenal.
‘It’d be the best money we ever spent’
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that he thinks Congress would be willing to economically support North Korea once they get rid of their nuclear weapons, and stop trying to develop them.
“It’d be the best money we ever spent,” Graham told host Margaret Brennan. “I think there’d a be a lot of support in Congress to give North Korea a better life – provide aid, relieve sanctions – with one condition: that you give up your nuclear weapons program in a verifiable way.”
But Graham said denuclearization is just the beginning of North Korea’s future, as he said he wants a peace treaty to end the Korean War for better safety across the world.
“I’m not trying to spread democracy to North Korea,” he said. “I’m not trying to unify South and North Korea. I’m trying to stop an unstable regime from having more weapons that can hit America.”
The historic summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un is scheduled in Singapore for June 12.
Reuters contributed reporting.
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