North Korea: US will offer 'unique' security guarantees, says Pompeo

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President Trump, meanwhile, told reporters he is confident the summit is "going to work out quite nicely".

Ordinary North Koreans citizens are not allowed to travel, so seeing a North Korean in the flesh is a thrilling affair.

The summit was part of a "changed era", North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said in its first comments on the event. Critics fear that Mr Trump is poorly prepared for the negotiations - while others say Mr Trump's quickfire approach has already produced results - including North Korea saying it is willing to consider denuclearising.

He added that Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs were "unjust". Trump and Kim will come face to face for the first time at 9am local time (1pm NZ Time) in Singapore. But the dramatic act of extending his hand to one of America's longtime adversaries will forever illustrate Trump's gut-driven, norm-shattering tenure.

Given the uncertainty and the constant back and forth, there has been much speculation the world over about the possible outcomes of the Trump-Kim meeting, especially about whether Pyongyang would agree to complete denuclearisation. And in recent years, North Korean officials have repeatedly stated that the regime will seriously consider denuclearisation provided the U.S. makes security guarantees and lifts trade restrictions. In an op-ed, the Associated Press has expressed doubts that Kim "would fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as the guarantor of his survival". He credits his administration's "maximum pressure" campaign with getting Kim to the table.

Turns out, North Korea's Dear Leader is not staying at the Fullerton Hotel as initially posited by The Washington Post.

But Pompeo has refused to answer reporters' questions about whether the two governments had reached agreement on how to define denuclearization, and how it might play out.

He wouldn't say whether Trump would consider withdrawing US troops from the Korean Peninsula, but insisted USA sanctions on the North would remain in place until the North denuclearizes.

"From our point of view it's important that the meeting take place, and that the meeting sets developments on a new trajectory - one that will be conducive to the security and stability of the region", he said. "The leader's excretions contain information about his health status so they can't be left behind", Yun-keol said. Pyongyang's weapons program benefits from forced labor.

The two leaders have had an extraordinary up-and-down relationship over the past 18 months.

Ahead of the summit, North Korea rejected unilateral nuclear disarmament, and KCNA's reference to denuclearisation of the peninsula has historically meant it wants the United States to remove a "nuclear umbrella" protecting South Korea and Japan.

Pompeo's remarks suggest that the USA is looking for a short transition toward denuclearisation, according to Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. That would avoid the prospect of Kim winning sanctions relief for gradual progress while remaining a nuclear power.

The president raised the possibility over the weekend of future summits following Tuesday's meeting that could lead to a peace treaty to end the war.