Pompeo says United States is willing to 'make security assurances' to North Korea

Daniel Fowler
June 11, 2018

Bringing the Korean War to a formal end 65 years after hostilities ceased will also be on the table at the first-ever summit between a North Korean leader and a sitting USA president of its "imperialist enemy".

He had his first formal meeting of the summit with the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.

North Korean state-run news reported Monday that Mr. Kim was seeking denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in response to a "changed era".

The U.S. will keep economic sanctions in place until North Korea eliminates its nuclear weapons capability, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, delivering a stern message to Pyongyang ahead of Tuesday's historic summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Kim arrived at Singapore's Changi Airport after his longest trip overseas as head of state, wearing his trademark dark "Mao suit" and distinctive high-cut hairstyle.

The North Korean leader then traveled to the St. Regis Hotel - where he will be staying for the duration of the visit - in his armored limousine, which arrived on a separate flight.

During his preparation period, Trump continued on Monday to publicly brawl on Twitter with USA allies over trade.

The outcomes of Tuesday's unprecedented meeting are highly uncertain, but analysts say that the mere fact is happenng is a step forward.

The tests culminated in November's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea said could reach the entirety of the United States.

Since then, USA and North Korean diplomats have been trying to bridge the gap between the two countries' definition of denuclearization.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation.

Kim Jong Un will undoubtedly get a sense of all that as he arrives.

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Kim has shown surprising diplomatic skills in his meetings with overseas leaders this year. It comes as officials are revealing more details about meeting - the first between a United States president and North Korean leader.

Kim only started meeting with foreign leaders in recent months, slowly shedding a reputation as the reclusive ruler of the so-called Hermit Kingdom after summits with the Chinese and South Korean presidents.

But the two leaders also share some parallels.

Kim may also be seeing the gamble in a light never considered by his autocratic father and grandfather because of "his determination to modernize North Korea", according to Ryan Haas, an Asia expert at the John L. Thornton China Center.

The two sides met to narrow differences ahead of Tuesday's summit between Trump and Kim, at which the two leaders will discuss efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

The president arrived in Asia having blown up relations with US allies - and personally with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - over trade and Russian Federation, announcing via Twitter en route to Singapore that he'd withdraw from a joint agreement covering climate change and other issues.

"We've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it's going to work out very nicely", Trump said.

He explained that he gave the North Korean official Trump's book, "Art of the Deal", while he was in North Korea.

North Korea wants a staged approach to dismantling its nuclear weapons program and a security guarantee from the U.S. in return.

"I think we should take some optimism from that reporting", the official said.

President says he will meet with North Korea in Singapore.

Many questions remain unanswered, however, including whether the North Koreans have robust enough communication systems to make sure no one panics and launches an attack, said Vipin Narang, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program.

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