The awkward fact of the nuclear pride felt by ordinary North Koreans

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dangled the prospect of a far brighter future for North Korea if leader Kim Jong Un abandons his nation's nuclear weapons program after a summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore next month.

Pompeo, two weeks and one day on the job, returned to the USA on Thursday from what he called a "productive" meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un to agree on details for the Trump-Kim summit.

Meanwhile, North Korea has scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear test site for sometime between May 23 and 25 depending on weather conditions to uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, state media said yesterday.

KELEMEN: So Pompeo says he thinks that he has a pretty good understanding with Kim about what the mutual objectives are.

For starters, Singapore maintains diplomatic ties with both the USA and North Korea and is fairly neutral.

President Trump announced via Twitter on Thursday that he would meet Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.

Fresh back from his trip to North Korea, Pompeo also described his time with the North Korean dictator, calling their conversations "warm" despite the leader's record of human rights abuses and his pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Kang stressed the importance of the USA troop presence on the Korean peninsula, and argued that the removal of US forces from the area should not be part of negotiations.

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-North Korea summit to be held in Singapore on June 12 will lead to progress on the issue of the North's past abductions of Japanese nationals.

The idea that North Korea would rid itself of its nuclear weaponry without getting something in return is fanciful, according to experts. "So we're not talking about sanctions relief at this point", he said.

Tensions between the US and North Korea have eased in recent months and Trump accepted the invitation for a face-to-face meeting with Kim back in March.

"I really think he wants to do something and bring his country into the real world", Trump said. But she noted that as preparations for the Trump-Kim summit continue, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit the White House on May 22.

"The next few weeks will be critical, requiring airtight coordination between our two countries", Kang said. Kim also freed 3 Americans detained by the North, apparently trying to underscore its positive posture toward trust-building with the USA administration.

"Today's (Wednesday) release of three Americans detained by North Korea is another foreign policy victory by President Trump and Secretary Pompeo".

Kim declared his nuclear forced as complete in December, following the country's most powerful nuclear test to date in September and also three flight tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles created to reach the US mainland.

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