Pompeo offers North Korea security assurances


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went on a surprise tour of downtown Singapore on Monday night, just hours before he was due to take part in a landmark meeting with US President Donald Trump. Trump and Kim will come face to face for the first time at 9am local time (1pm NZ Time) in Singapore. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

No sitting U.S. president has ever met a North Korean leader.

Still, the sense of anticipation was great in Singapore, with people lining spotless streets holding cellphones high as Trump headed to meet Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

During the lunch, Trump said he thinks "things can work out very nicely" in Tuesday's meeting.

"We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future successful talks", Pompeo said, describing a far more modest goal than Trump had outlined days earlier.

During his meeting, Trump was presented with an early birthday cake.

Pompeo said the U.S.is prepared to offer "unique" security guarantees to North Korea to ensure that eliminating its nuclear weapons won't end badly for Kim's regime.

North Korea's state media has talked of a "new relationship" with the US. It wants a reciprocal step-by-step process in which North Korean concessions are met with substantive U.S. commitments in other related areas. "But there's a risk because if the meeting is perceived to be very good and there's a lot of progress made, that could ultimately lift the ETF".

Even as he drew a tough line on lifting sanctions, Pompeo sought to ease North Korea's wariness about giving up a nuclear arsenal that provides a deterrent against foreign adversaries while also serving as a key point of national pride. Trump said last week that Rodman had not been invited to the summit. After the meeting, this could make it hard to verify what's said and whether any promises were made.

"I have every expectation that they will continue to do that", he said.

Sentosa, where the meeting between Trump and Kim will be held, is a former British military fort and now, a tourist attraction with a Universal Studio theme park.

It is an outcome that seemed unimaginable less than a year ago - when Mr Trump and Mr Kim exchanged streams of fiery insults - and North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of the global community.

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Rodman emerged from the baggage claim area at Changi Airport around midnight Monday.

For decades, North Korea has been a pariah state, and now its latest hereditary leader is being treated as a world statesman.

White House officials have said Rodman will play no official role in the diplomatic negotiations.

A transport plane - one of three aircraft that headed to Singapore - also carried food and Kim's bullet-proof limousine.

"If diplomacy doesn't move in the right direction, sanctions will increase". "We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!" he wrote. "That's what I do". He may be staying at the St. Regis Hotel, where China's President Xi Jinping once stayed.

Pompeo's remarks suggest that the United States is looking for a short transition toward denuclearisation, according to Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

Few experts believe that Kim, who has conducted several missile tests in recent years, is willing to dismantle his entire nuclear program.

Any nuclear deal would hinge on the North's willingness to allow unfettered outside inspections of the country's warheads and nuclear fuel, much of which is likely kept in a vast complex of underground facilities.

The event-specific symbol features what appears to be a high-five between a hand representing the US president and one representing the North Korean dictator known for executing his political enemies and exiling large swaths of his nation to prison camps, where they face starvation and torture. But in the unpredictable Trump era, their Tuesday morning summit in Singapore seems a fitting next chapter for the two heads of state.

US President Ronald Reagan, left, and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at the White House, Washington, December 8, 1987.