- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday the US would be interested in American private sector investment in the country if they comply with President Donald Trump’s demands for denuclearization.
- Pompeo told Fox News Sunday Americans would invest in North Korean infrastructure and agriculture, so North Koreans could “eat meat and have healthy lives”.
- White House national security advisor John Bolton and US Senator Lindsey Graham also commented on potential economic rewards North Korea stands to gain after 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 the American private sector to invest in the country.
“This will be … private sector Americans … coming in to help build out the energy grid that needs enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea,” Pompeo said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
He 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 the capacity for American agriculture to support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives,” Pompeo 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.”
Pompeo, who recently said North Korea would be “brimming with prosperity” if it gave up its nuclear weapons soon, emphasized the difference between direct economic aid and the allowance for 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 officials who made on-air comments Sunday, including White House national security advisor 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.
Bolton has previously made hawkish public comments that supported preemptive US attacks on North Korea to counteract the threat of their nuclear arsenal.
US Senator Lindsey Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that he thinks Congress would be willing to economically support North Korea upon denuclearization.
“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 officials’ comments come ahead of a historic summit scheduled in Singapore for June 12 between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Watch Pompeo’s comments below:
Reuters contributed reporting.