Trump and Kim set date for 'special moment'

12 May, 2018, 11:04 | Author: Carlos George
  • Japan-US summit being arranged on sidelines of G7

The United States aspires to have North Korea as a "close partner" and not an enemy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday, noting that the USA has often in history become good friends with former adversaries.

US President Donald Trump greeted three Americans released by North Korea at an air base near Washington early Thursday, underscoring a much needed diplomatic win and a stepping stone to a historic summit with Kim Jong-Un.

Pompeo said the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would however require "robust verification" program by the United States and other countries.

A North Korean official told Pompeo that Kim had granted the three "amnesty", a senior United States official said.

Coates said that North Korea handing over details about its existing program would "set us up with a greater chance of success, anything that they would like to do, but we haven't been signaling preconditions up until this point".

While Kim has offered to halt nuclear testing, research and development, the dictator had not promised to dismantle his entire nuclear arsenal.

North Korea's former spy chief Kim Yong Chul, director of the country's United Front Department, boasted in a toast to Pompeo over lunch in Pyongyang on Wednesday that North Korea had "perfected" it nuclear capability.

In the case of the summit, many North Koreans believe it's been brought about in the first place by their country's hard-won success in developing a nuclear arsenal, made possible in part by their many sacrifices.

"While the North Koreans say that nuclear disarmament should proceed stage by stage, taking into account reciprocal steps and in the absence of a threat from the United States, the U.S. side insists on North Korea's transparent and unconditional denuclearization", the expert noted.

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KELEMEN: So Pompeo says he thinks that he has a pretty good understanding with Kim about what the mutual objectives are.

Pompeo's plane is expected to arrive at Andrews first, followed by a military medical plane carrying the three men who had been imprisoned.

"We have a shared vision for what we hope when this process is completed the Korean Peninsula looks like", Pompeo said Friday.

Later the same day, President Trump tweeted that his meeting with Kim Jong Un will take place in Singapore on June 12th.

Special rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana issued a statement hours after three US prisoners released by Pyongyang arrived back home.

North Korea rejects any such notions. Pertinently, North Korea believes it can at least rely on China as a buffer against potential US aggression; Iran does not have a similar faith in Europe.

This was good news for the families of the three Americans, and we all share their joy, relief and gratitude.

For Pompeo, his visit to retrieve the trio was his second surprise trip to North Korea in recent weeks, having traveled there to visit the country's leader in early April while he was Central Intelligence Agency director - and before his confirmation as secretary of state.

The top U.S. diplomat promised to work with other countries around the world in order to ensure the complete denuclearization of Korean peninsula. "I will not just sit and talk for nothing", he said.

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