US hopes North Korea will become close partner, Pompeo says

US President Donald Trump applauds as US detainee Kim Dong-chul gestures upon his return with Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim

US President Donald Trump applauds as US detainee Kim Dong-chul gestures upon his return with Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim

The release of the three, who were being held in North Korean labor camps, came in advance of upcoming talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

President Trump, who was accompanied by his wife Melania, told waiting reporters it was "nice" of the North Korean leader to release the three men ahead of their planned summit.

Pompeo said there would need to be "complete" and "verifiable" denuclearization, suggesting it would involve inspections to ensure the North's compliance.

Interested in North Korea? "All I'll say is that the meeting has been agreed to, but obviously it could be halted for any number of reasons", Shah said with a note of caution to the North Koreans.

The United States aspires to have North Korea as a "close partner" and not an enemy, the USA secretary of state has said.

But Singapore "made obvious sense" as a neutral venue, said Graham, particularly over the other options of the DMZ and Mongolia.

Mr Trump and Mr Kim engaged in a bellicose exchange of rhetoric previous year over North Korea's development of nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

The president praised Kim and said he was "nice in letting them go before the meeting".

"Singaporeans have been gracious up until now and also in the past".

"Trump said Kim Jong-un was "excellent" to the prisoners".

The comments came three days after the United States president announced he would violate the global nuclear deal with Iran which imposed strict curbs on Tehran's nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.


"So those were the initial steps that the North Koreans took".

"Our conversations were warm", Pompeo said. "It's now been set".

In the report published on Friday, the Mainichi quoted a senior global negotiator with the National Security Council as telling reporters that "there is a possibility" the leader of a third country may take part.

Officials said that step removed the last major obstacle to the nuclear-focused summit, providing Trump with tangible evidence that his policy of engagement was reaping rewards.

During the past year, Kim and Trump have added a personal touch to more than 60 years of global enmity, swapping insults and openly threatening devastating direct military action.

"If he can end the standoff that has prevailed since the 1950-53 Korean War, he will have won a place in history that may offer redemption in posterity even if his presidency ends in ignominy", CNN commented.

The US wants Pyongyang to give up its weapons programme completely and irreversibly.

Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump will hold an unprecedented summit on June 12 in Singapore.

It just gets worse from there: Only 12% of Trump disapprovers say they approve of his foreign trade policies, only 10% approve of his relationship with Republicans in Congress, 9% for the USA relationship with Iran, 8% for his foreign affairs in general, 7% for his handling of immigration and just 3% approve of his top Cabinet officials.

Mike Pompeo noted the United States has often in history become good friends with former adversaries.

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