China mum about whether Xi will meet Trump, Kim in Singapore

Donald Trump greets the Americans formerly held hostage in North Korea upon their arrival at Joint Base Andrews

"We hope this meeting will advance prospects for peace in the Korean Peninsula", Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday, following the announcement, which came just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from his second trip to North Korea with three American prisoners in tow.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was to welcome Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to Washington, one month before US President Donald Trump and North Korean autocrat Kim Jong Un are to meet.

Ms Kang praised the upcoming meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim in Singapore as a "historic" opportunity, but added a few notes of skepticism as well. The American pressure tactic of "complete, verifiable, and irreversible" dismantling of North Korea's nuclear arsenals and facilities would be in juxtaposition with the Chinese standpoint that supports a gradual nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without really demanding a complete dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons.

The secretary of state addressed concerns that the US and North Korea have different objectives in mind when considering denuclearization, prompting doubts that the Kim regime will actually be willing to give up the weapons it has already built.

US analysts highlighted Singapore's political neutrality, geological proximity and cultural diversity.

Kim is chairman of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea. Further, China would protect North Korea from the USA and from the United Nations inspection for an immediate and complete verification of Pyongyang's nuclear establishments, including helping to remove the UNSC sanctions.

A combination photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) in Pyongyang, North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump, in Palm Beach, Florida, respectively from Reuters files.

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Referring to his meeting Wednesday with Kim in Pyongyang, Pompeo said he referred to the possibility that the United States would assure Kim of his regime's security in exchange for full denuclearization. "They looked at us and said, 'God bless America". None of the Korea experts I've interviewed think Kim will give up all his nuclear weapons.

"So we're not talking about sanctions relief at this point", she said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, stands as he speaks during a dinner between North Korean dignitaries and USA diplomats in Pyonyang, North Korea on May 9, 2018.

In the broadcast, manager Heo Kang-il claimed that the NIS had blackmailed him into tricking the women into coming to South Korea. Kim has said that North Korea now has the capability to strike the continental United States.

"So, in order to achieve that, it will require a robust verification programme and one that we will undertake with partners around the world, which will achieve that outcome in a way that frankly no agreement before it has ever set forth".

And here's another question: Might Trump's kid gloves approach toward the nuclear-armed Kim encourage Tehran to accelerate efforts to build a bomb? Further details about the meeting have begun to emerge - increasingly visible North Korean first lady Ri Sol-Ju is expected to attend, and Singapore was chosen as the location over the Korean demilitarized zone so as not to make Kim seem too conciliatory.

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