North Korea could become one of the world’s “great economic powers” if it relinquishes its nuclear weapons, US President Donald Trump has said.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Trump said the nation had “more potential for rapid growth than any other”.
His comments came hours after his secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Pyongyang remains a nuclear threat.
Mr Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the second time on the 27-28 February in Hanoi, Vietnam.
“We both expect a continuation of the progress made at first summit in Singapore,” Mr Trump tweeted, referencing the meeting between the two leaders in Singapore last June.
Speaking at the Governors’ Ball – a black tie event for US state governors – on Sunday evening, the president also said he had developed a “very very good relationship” with Mr Kim.
He reiterated that he was “in no rush” to press for North Korea’s denuclearisation. “I don’t want to rush anybody. I just don’t want testing. As long as there’s no testing, we’re happy,” he said.
The Singapore summit was historic as the first meeting between a sitting US president and a leader of North Korea, but the agreement the two men signed was vague on detail. Little has been done since about their stated goal – finding a way to get nuclear weapons off the Korean peninsula.
The president’s latest remarks come on the eve of his departure for Vietnam, and are being seen as a bid to manage expectations.