The US will assist North Korea with its economy if Pyongyang gets rid of its nuclear weapons, its secretary of state has said.

"If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearise, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends," said Mike Pompeo.

Mr Pompeo said there would need to be "complete" and "robust verification" of denuclearisation, suggesting it would involve inspections to ensure the North's compliance.

"I think there is complete agreement about what the ultimate objectives are," Mr Pompeo said, though he declined to offer more detail.

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

Ms Kang says there must be "airtight" coordination between South Korea and the US ahead of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un historic meeting on 12 June.

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.

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.

Mr Pompeo's returned from Pyongyang on Thursday with three American detainees who had been released by North Korea.

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