North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Visits China, Meets Leader Xi Jinping

This file
This file

15 May, 2018

President Donald Trump speaks as he stands with Tony Kim, second left, Kim Dong Chul, center right, and Kim Hak Song, right, three Americans detained in North Korea for more than a year, after they arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., May 10, 2018. "We will both try to make it a very special movement for the World Peace".

The secretary of state addressed concerns that the US and North Korea have different objectives in mind when considering denuclearization, prompting doubts that the Kim regime will actually be willing to give up the weapons it has already built.

"We hope this meeting will advance prospects for peace in the Korean Peninsula", Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

And going back to "maximum pressure" if the talks fail is not really an option.

"You hit singles, you hit doubles; every once in a while we may be able to hit a home run", President Barack Obama said of his own foreign policy.

Contrasting the wealth of South Korea to the poverty and deprivation of the North, Pompeo said the Trump administration was willing to provide assistance to North Korea if Kim met USA demands to forfeit its nuclear weapons.

"I think what the prospect for North Korea is to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way that South Korea does", Bolton said.

The Southeast Asia city-state has long acted as a bridge between the United States and China, with successive prime ministers offering Oval Office occupants their cherished geopolitical counsel.

Since Trump announced plans to hold a summit with Kim, questions have been raised continually about whether the two leaders have the same objective in mind when they speak about "denuclearization". But none of them have involved a country with a program as advanced and large as North Korea.

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Rice University presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said Trump's diplomacy with North Korea is a "high-risk game".

But the North's planes can pick up extra fuel when they fly to China and Russian Federation for commercial operations, and global security experts believe the North may have been stockpiling the fuel which it has also used for its missile programme.

When he was asked about how he was treated by the North Korean regime, Kim replied, "We were treated in many different ways".

In rejecting the Iran deal, Mr Trump equated Iran's right to a civilian nuclear programme as a path to a nuclear weapon.

Trump has vowed that he will not let that happen and has demanded that North Korea give up its nukes.

After the end of the Korean war in 1953 the South, an ally of the United States, embraced a capitalist philosophy. But while the USA demands an immediate dismantlement of the nuclear program, Kim has called for a phased and synchronized approach, leading skeptics to believe his real intention is to win sanctions relief. "If he doesn't see material progress to that, there's not going to be a deal for a deal's sake", she said.

Trump deliberately violated that deal on Tuesday in the most comprehensive manner possible, restoring all USA sanctions on Iran and threatening European and other foreign companies with crippling punitive measures if they continue to do business in Iran. Both sides say they hope for a breakthrough.

While some White House aides characterized Trump's moves as evidence of bold thinking, there is also concern that he has little sense of the potential repercussions from some of his big moves, believing that if things don't work out, that he can always just reverse course.

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