USA hopes North Korea will become close partner, Pompeo says

Kim Jong-un will meet President Trump on June 12 in Singapore

The men, Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim, had been released Wednesday amid a warming of relations between the longtime adversaries.

Joking with reporters, Trump said the three men's arrivals had probably broken "the all time in history television rating for three in the morning".

"Singapore is neither too far away as European nations are, allowing Kim Jong Un's private jet to make it here without refueling, nor too close that Trump might be seen as "giving way" to Kim by having to travel a longer distance than the latter", said Nah Liang Tuang, a research fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies. He said, "We're starting off on a new footing".

Their release came during a visit to Pyongyang by Mr Pompeo to arrange details of the meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim. "This is a special night for these three really great people", he said.

Did Obama fail at freeing Americans imprisoned in North Korea? "Me, I had to do a lot of labor, but when I got sick, I was also treated by them". But North Korea has said it is willing to talk now because it has already succeeded in becoming a nuclear-armed state, fueling skepticism the North would truly being willing to give those weapons up.

Pompeo said the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would however require "robust verification" program by the United States and other countries. "Don't let these recent positive developments be perceived as the celebratory end of the freedom work in North Korea, and instead let it mark the beginning", Open Doors president David Curry said in a statement.

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.

It has close diplomatic and defense ties with the US and yet is also familiar ground for North Korea, with which it established diplomatic relations in 1975. He was accused of unspecified 'hostile acts.

Around the world, people awoke to major global news.

Exchanging prisoners for an opening with the West has been a common tactic of Pyongyang over the years.

The last American to be released before this, college student Otto Warmbier, died in June 2017, days after he was repatriated to the USA with severe brain damage. However, he was released in June 2017, gravely ill and in a coma. "This is the highest level diplomacy that the United States has to offer".

At the same time, Gardner said, Trump's eyes were wide open about the risks of failure and the need to be clear that denuclearization means abandoning nuclear weapons.

Washington is likely to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons after the two leaders exchanged fiery rhetoric previous year over North Korea's attempts to build a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.

Mr Pompeo said the USA aim was clear - "to ensure that North Korean doesn't possess the capacity to threaten, not only the United States but the world, with nuclear weapons".

The president has hailed the thawing in relations as a diplomatic breakthrough and chalked it up to his hardline stand with Pyongyang.

On Wednesday, Trump was asked if he deserved the prize. The Americans had boarded Pompeo's plane out of North Korea without assistance and then transferred in Japan to the Boeing C-40 outfitted with medical facilities for the trip back to the U.S.

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