US President Thanks Singapore for Hosting US-N.Korea Talks

U.S. officials offer economic aid security assurances if North Korea eliminates nuclear program

US President Thanks Singapore for Hosting US-N.Korea Talks

Until recently, Mr Kim and Mr Trump had been trading personal insults and threats, heightening tensions over North Korea's nuclear programme. They seem to be in good health. "The North Korean leader has committed to denuclearisation, and formally so through the Panmunjom Declaration".

Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, other top officials and first lady Melania joined the president in the highly scripted celebration in the wee hours of Thursday morning at Joint Base Andrews near Washington.

"Very exciting", the President exclaimed.

Kim Dong-Chul, Kim Hak-Song and Tony Kim, who had been held for a least a year, were released in the lead-up to the historic meeting planned between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Trump planned in the coming weeks.

Today, Trump said that the time and place of the summit will be announced in three days. "I really think he wants to do something and bring the country into the real world. Maybe it will [work out], maybe it won't".

Amid concerns that North Korea will demand the US withdraw its troops from neighboring South Korea, Kang emphasized 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.

"My proudest achievement will be - this is part of it - when we denuclearize that entire peninsula".

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Given the high stakes of their meeting, one might expect a tenser, less inviting image.

The meeting is set to be the first-ever summit between USA and North Korea during more than six decades of hostility since the Korean War. We looked them straight in the eye and they said to us verbatim, 'God bless America.

The pair, Mr Pompeo said, talked "about how it is he wishes to proceed and if he's prepared, in exchange for the assurances that we're ready to provide him, if he is prepared to fully denuclearise".

Now a string of US-led sanctions are imposed on North Korea in a bid to hinder its efforts at developing nuclear weapons.

"You're never certain exactly what you're going to get into when you're dealing with certain governments that you don't always have a friendly relationship with", she said.

Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month and the two leaders agreed to work on a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War and ridding the peninsula of nuclear weapons.

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