Singapore confirms it will host landmark Trump-Kim summit

Aaron Brown
May 12, 2018

It also marked the first practical outcome of talks between North Korea and the USA, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meeting for the second time in Pyongyang on Wednesday. Kim has suspended nuclear and missile tests and put his nuclear program up for negotiation, but questions remain about how serious his offer is and what disarmament steps he would willing to take.

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

He noted that Trump greeted the freed men at Joint Base Andrews along with First Lady Melania Trump, who he joked was "hoping to be freed next".

During the meal, the defectors said they were anxious South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un secretly agreed to repatriate the waitresses to the North. It was the early leading choice among top administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House chief of staff John Kelly, who recognised that the summit location would play an important role in how the talks are viewed around the world, reported CNN.

Heo told the network the defections were a South Korea government-sanctioned "luring and kidnapping", a statement that would support North Korea's claims the former administration of jailed President Park Geun-hye seized the North Koreans who were working in a restaurant in China at the time of their disappearance. "I really think he wants to do something", the president said.

One man, Kim Dong-chul, said he had to do "a lot of labor", but, he said, when he was sick, he received treatment.

In 2015, Singapore hosted a historic meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Taiwan's then-leader Ma Ying-jeou, the first between presidents of the two sides since a 1949 civil war split that led to decades of estrangement.

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The three Americans released from harsh imprisonment had done little or nothing to offend the government of North Korea, and indeed were probably, like young Mr. Warmbier, arrested only to make a political point and collect trading chips.

There will be "no way" to do this without relying on the experts in the government and at the State Department, believes Bell. "When I make promises, I keep them".

The highly public ceremony surrounding the ex-prisoners arrival in DC and Trump's political comments stood in marked contrast to the the State Department's earlier efforts to keep the three men sheltered from the press and even from other U.S. officials.

Trump thanked Kim for releasing the United States citizens and said that his greatest honor would be the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

A new CNN poll shows that after rattling the nation and the world previous year by threatening to wipe North Korea off the map, his turn to diplomacy is winning increasing public approval.

"Hopefully this release will convince the White House to further empower American diplomats going forward", Bell said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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