Trump Greets 3 Americans Freed by North Korea

Hannah Rogers
May 12, 2018

Kim expressed expectations to Pompeo over what is set to be a historic meeting.

Earlier Thursday, with the American former detainees by his side on a dark air base tarmac, Trump said during a made-for-TV ceremony that it was a "great honor" to welcome the men back to the USA, but he added that "the true honor is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons".

Singapore will provide a neutral backdrop for the summit, avoiding some of the security and political challenges of meeting in the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South.

Both Kang and Pompeo stressed that their goal is to achieve a "complete" and "verifiable" denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. "There's got to be real preparation and strategy".

The president hopes to walk away with a deal that would denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

President Donald Trump is promising "quite a scene" when three Korean Americans detained in North Korea return to the mainland USA after more than a year in prison.

The president wrote on Twitter "We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!"

Now, however, Trump enters a month-long period where he must set expectations for what he'll really be able to achieve.

Mr. Trump has also played the disruptor's role in recent weeks and months by withdrawing the USA from the Iran nuclear deal, imposing sweeping tariffs on allies and announcing he's moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

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For Pompeo, his visit to retrieve the trio was his second surprise trip to North Korea in recent weeks, having traveled there to visit the country's leader in early April while he was Central Intelligence Agency director - and before his confirmation as secretary of state.

South Korea said at the time they had defected out of admiration for South Korean society. "We are not going to do this in small increments, where the world is essentially coerced into relieving economic pressure".

Abe said he is open to holding talks with Kim only when that would lead to a settlement of the abduction issue. 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.

Next month's summit will be complicated - and the risks particularly great - because Trump is upending decades of diplomatic practice.

"The next few weeks will be critical, requiring airtight coordination between our two countries", Kang said. That's something Trump has to take into account as he heads to the negotiating table.

Tourists are mimicking the historic handshake between the two leaders.

But those details are daunting, to say the least. A majority of Americans who disapprove of the President, 54%, say their view is driven more by his personality and leadership qualities.

But before any technical talk about reprocessed fuel rods, separated plutonium or spent fuel removal, Trump will want to answer one basic question - whether North Korea wants to change.

US President Trump announced on May 8 that the US was withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPOA) - the deal that restricted Tehran's nuclear developments in exchange for lifting UN Security Council sanctions and unilateral restrictive measures that had been imposed by the United States and the European Union.

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