Pompeo: US hopes to have North Korea as 'close partner'

Mike Pompeo says US prepared to assist North Korea in boosting its economy if Pyongyang achieves denuclearisation

He said the United States wants to ensure that its efforts yield the end result, that North Korea should not become a threat to the world.

"We had good conversations about the histories of our two nations, the challenges that we have had between us", Mr Pompeo told reporters at a news conference with South Korea's visiting foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha.

The journalists will be provided with a charter flight from Beijing to the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan, from where they will travel by train to the test site, the statement said.

North Korea's state news agency criticized the Japanese government Saturday for urging a resolution to the issue of Pyongyang's abductions of Japanese nationals, claiming that the issue has already been resolved.

Japan says North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to train agents in Japanese culture and language to spy on South Korea.

Pompeo said the United States would remain on board to help develop the North's economy, which has been devastated by its own mismanagement and crippling worldwide sanctions.

The ministry said the North will continue to "promote close contacts and dialogue with the neighboring countries and the global society so as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and over the globe".

The United States and its worldwide partners are ready to provide North Korea with assurances if its leader Kim Jong-un is prepared to fully denuclearise the Korean Peninsula, a top American diplomat said on Saturday.

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"There's a danger here of the peace track moving more quickly than the denuclearization track", warned Abraham Denmark, an Asia expert and former senior USA defense official.

Responding to a question about Kim's personality, Pompeo said, "You asked about my conversations with Chairman Kim".

Breitbart News reported that "North Korea has told the White House that the country is open to discussing shutting down their illegal nuclear weapons program".

"If we can hold to those three principles, this might work", Rice said at Stanford's Hoover Institution.

Welcome home from your frightening ordeal in North Korea.

It considers the US a close partner, while North Korea maintains a fully functioning embassy in the city-state.

After her talks with Pompeo, she took pains to "emphasize again that the US military presence in Korea is a matter for the ROK-US alliance first and foremost".

He said a massive inspection and monitoring regime would be required to ensure the North's compliance.

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