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US to lift sanctions if NoKor dismantles nuke arms program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Washington would agree to lift sanctions on North Korea if the country agrees to completely dismantle its nuclear weapons program, a move that would create economic prosperity that “will rival” that of South Korea.

As Pompeo spoke on several Sunday morning talk shows, the Pentagon said three American prisoners freed by North Korea had left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington and been reunited with their families.

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.

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.

North Korean state media reported over the weekend that the country had scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear bomb site for later in May.

Pompeo welcomed that news. “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.”

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