USA to help N Korea's economy if it abandons nuclear weapons

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to land with the three former detainees at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington in the early hours of Thursday

North Korea thaw: Date and location set for Trump-Kim meeting

He made the announcement at a joint news conference with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha.

Pompeo has had two recent meetings with Kim to prepare for the summit and, last weekend, to negotiate the release of three Korean-Americans held in the North's jails. The U.S. has been a key partner in building up struggling economies, notably in Japan and Eastern Europe after World War II.

While denying there will be any provision of economic support to North Korea for the time being, Abe said Japan would have to share with the global community the cost of nuclear inspections by the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency in North Korea.

With US help, those countries recovered from the devastation of conflict.

Trump had announced he would meet with Kim in Singapore on June 12, two days before the USA leader's 72nd birthday.

And 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 global sanctions.

Amid concerns that North Korea will demand the US withdraw its troops from neighbouring South Korea, Ms Kang emphasised that the US military presence there must be "a matter for the US-ROK alliance first and foremost", using an acronym for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea. "Those words are important, but we'll see what they mean".

But North Korea has said it's willing to talk now because it's already succeeded in becoming a nuclear-armed state, fueling skepticism that the North would truly be willing to give those weapons up.

"It's a big undertaking for sure, but one that Chairman Kim and I had the opportunity to have a good, sound discussion on, so that I think we had a pretty good understanding between our two countries what the shared objectives are", Pompeo said.

She said the troop presence in the South for the past 65 years plays a "crucial role for deterrence", peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and argued it should not be on the table at the summit.

"Normalizing diplomatic relations with Japan is an extremely important step for North Korea to tread a right path in the global community", Abe said on a TV program, stressing he hopes Kim will not be satisfied only with holding talks with the US and South Korean presidents.

But South Korea's President Moon reached out to the North, reopening direct talks, and when Kim invited Trump to a summit to discuss disarmament the mood changed.

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

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