North Korea relations: 'The only dialogue that matters'

Despite tough USA talk before the summit about "complete" and "verifiable" denuclearization, the vaguely worded 1 1/2-page document Trump and Kim signed doesn't include that language and essentially represents "tacit approval" of North Korea's nuclear program, said Jeffery Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-Proliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey, California.

North Korean state press played up its triumphant takeaways from the summit, including what it said was an agreement to gradually ease economic sanctions on Pyongyang and for both sides to simultaneously take steps to denuclearize the peninsula. If Abe's visit to Pyongyang proves hard, Japan is eyeing another scenario for Abe to meet Kim on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum to be held in September in Vladivostok, if the North Korean leader attends, the paper said.

"Heading back home from Singapore after a truly fantastic visit", Trump tweeted.

He also included a Trumpian jab, comparing USA journalists to the state-run press in North Korea.

"It is something that (North Korea) very much appreciated".

"Given that this meeting is being held after a long hiatus, we will have to make it produce results", Kim, the South's top delegate, said at the start of the meeting.

Trump returned to Washington, declaring on Twitter "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", even though the agreement he signed with Kim does not spell out how Pyongyang will dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

The leaders signed a statement pledging to establish a new relationship.

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He said he was confident that the North Koreans "understand what we're prepared to do, [the] handful of things we're not likely to do".

With Pompeo in the driver's seat pushing negotiations forward, it will be his job to ensure nervous allies wondering why Washington has handed Pyongyang a major concession while securing little concrete in return.

Despite Pompeo's insistence that sanctions would hold until denuclearization occurred, he offered few details on how the complex process of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization would be implemented. Kim's commitments did not appear to go beyond what he already pledged to do in April when he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in along their countries' border.

Trump returned to the United States on Wednesday and took to Twitter to hail the meeting, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, as a major win for American security. He told reporters that if the US concludes they no longer are, the freeze "will no longer be in effect".

After calling the dictator a "tough guy", "smart", and someone who "loves his people", Trump shrugged off a question about his human rights abuses, echoing his remark a year ago that while Russian president Vladimir Putin is a killer, "There are a lot of killers. He's clearly executing people", Baier said. He toughened up global sanctions to further isolate North Korea and then agreed to meet directly with Kim after South Korea's president convinced him that the North was committed to giving up its nuclear weapons.

Japanese officials are planning to unofficially consult with North Korean officials during a two-day worldwide conference in Mongolia through Friday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks with General Vincent K. Brooks, commander of United States Forces Korea, after arriving at Osan Air Base in South Korea Wednesday.

In 2017, Trump made similar comments about Kim. The United States maintains about 28,500 soldiers in South Korea, which remains in a technical state of war with the North after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

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