U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered Friday to help boost North Korea's economy if the regime swiftly dismantles its nuclear weapons program.
Pompeo spoke after coming out of talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
"If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearize, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends," he told reporters.
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 to discuss the denuclearization of the regime.
Pompeo traveled twice to Pyongyang in recent weeks to meet with Kim and prepare for the summit.
"I think there is complete agreement about what the ultimate objectives are," he said, after saying that the U.S. objective remains the permanent, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.
Pompeo also said the North's dismantling of its nuclear program will require "robust verification."
Kang addressed reports about the possible drawing down of U.S. troops in South Korea as part of a deal on ending the North's nuclear ambitions. The issue will not be on the table as it concerns the bilateral alliance, she said.
The foreign minister also ruled out any easing of sanctions against North Korea in the near future.
"We are very clear that sanctions remain in place until and unless we see visible, meaningful action taken by North Korea on the denuclearization track," she said at the same news conference.
Kang's trip to Washington comes ahead of a planned meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump at the White House on May 22. The two leaders are expected to jointly prepare for the U.S.-North Korea summit.
Source: Yonhap News Agency