NK summit plans set; USA troop drawdown not on table

Trump: Pompeo Traveling to N. Korea to Prepare for Summit

Trump: Pompeo Traveling to N. Korea to Prepare for Summit

"The primary topics will be Trade, where good things will happen, and North Korea, where relationships and trust are building".

At the meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to seek the cooperation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae In on resolving the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea, sources said.

Although there were no guarantees that the American prisoners would be freed during Pompeo's visit, USA officials said their release would be significant goodwill gesture ahead of the Trump-Kim summit that is expected later this month or in early June. "We'll talk about it again".

"The president has a great relationship with President Xi and we are working on something we think will be great for everybody", Sanders said in Washington.

Moon's remarks are in sharp contrast to South Korea's official diplomatic stance, which supports the US position that North Korea must commit to denuclearization first in order for a peace treaty to come to fulfillment.

The controversy started last week when Moon Chung-in, a Yonsei University professor and a special adviser to the South Korean president for Unification, Foreign, and National Security Affairs published an article in Foreign Affairs in which he wrote that USA military forces in South Korea would probably not be needed anymore once a peace treaty is signed.

Chinese state media showed pictures of Kim smiling in an outdoors meeting with Xi, and the two leaders strolling along a waterfront.

Chinese state television said Xi told Trump China-U.S. relations were in an important phase.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian on Monday and Tuesday, both countries' media reported.

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Asked whether Pompeo would return with the three American prisoners now held in North Korea, Trump played coy.

Trump and Kim are expected to meet later this month or early in June for talks that would have been almost unthinkable a year ago, when the two mercurial leaders were trading barbs and Pyongyang tested a barrage of missiles.

"We are not going to head down the path we headed down before", he said.

North Korea, which already possesses nuclear weapons, has grabbed headlines with frequent missile tests in recent years, even demonstrating a capacity to hit the mainland U.S.

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While Trump was at the White House announcing Pompeo's visit, Kim was paying a surprise visit of his own to China - his second in just over a month.

Officials from the two countries focused on deepening their bilateral connections and sorting out the details of dialogue with the U.S.

Pompeo and officials traveling with him said the Trump administration would not repeat mistakes of the past, which they described as accepting gradual, incremental and long-term disarmament in exchange for immediate benefits.

South Korea's presidential office said the Chinese government notified Seoul about the Xi-Kim meeting in advance. "The Iran deal did not do that", Bolton said. "Maybe North Korea and the U.S. are thinking about making some radical concessions".

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