Monday, 28 May, 2018

Singapore will host US-North Korea summit, nuclear issue to dominate

Donald Trump hails Kim Jong Un as North Korea prisoners arrive home Trump greets three Americans freed by North Korea
Jay Anderson | 11 May, 2018, 04:27

PYONGYANG, North Korea-After months of anticipation and drama, the release of three American detainees by North Korea played out amid high-stakes diplomacy and was only sealed about an hour before the USA secretary of state was wheels-up from Pyongyang.

The secretary also appeared optimistic about the summit, telling Kim at a lunch in Pyongyang that he was "hopeful that we can work together to resolve this conflict, take away threats to the world and make your country have all the opportunities your people so richly deserve".

The CNN report followed North Korea's release of three USA citizens who had been held prisoner - a move that bodes well for the forthcoming summit.

Trump is embarking on the meeting with Kim after announcing on Tuesday the United States was pulling out of a 2015 accord imposing worldwide oversight of Iran's nuclear program.

Trump is expected to meet with Kim for the first time in Singapore, though the White House has yet to reveal further details and officials cautioned that Trump may not yet have given his final approval.

He'd said he favoured holding the meeting at the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily fortified border separating the Koreas.

The Kim family that has ruled North Korea since it was founded in 1948 has long sought a meeting with a sitting US president, and many observers have argued that Trump's agreement to hold the summit represented a victory in itself for Pyongyang.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence received the three former American detainees - Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-Chul who returned from North Korea in Maryland Air Force Base. President Donald Trump is on hand to greet them.

Shortly after they touched down in Alaska, the State Department released a statement from the freed men.




On the flight back from North Korea, Pompeo told reporters that the location and time of the summit had been agreed, but said details would be forthcoming in the next few days. The breakthrough came after the recent landmark talks between North and South Korea.

The men were taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where they are to be evaluated and receive medical treatment before being reunited with their families.

"Understanding the conditions many North Koreans live under, I felt guilty having all of that", she said, adding that the United States calls on Pyongyang to improve conditions for its citizens.

Now that the USA and North Korea plan to hold a summit to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, however, Trump's tone has changed. "The first words that they said to us we're "thank you" and then 'thank you for your prayers'". "We want to thank all of those who have worked toward and contributed to his return home".

Singapore was favoured by United States officials because of its neutrality and infrastructure.

His family has been waging a social media campaign to continue pushing for the release of Kim and the two other detainees.

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American student who was detained in North Korea for 17 months, died in June 2017 after he was released by Kim's regime. On learning of the release of Tony, who also uses the name Kim Sang-duk, his family expressed gratitude and credited Trump for engaging directly with North Korea.

Asked if the release of the detainees would be his proudest moment, Trump said that complete denuclearization would top his list.

King praised the release of three American hostages from North Korea.

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