Trump seeks 'very meaningful' summit in Singapore with N Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

But for Trump and Kim, Singapore is a convenient venue precisely because it "doesn't have the historical or political baggage", said Sarah Teo, an associate research fellow at RSIS's regional security architecture programme.

"I'm very honored to have helped the three folks", he said.

"This summit worries China's leaders", said Clayton Dube, director of the USC U.S. When asked by reporters how it felt to be home, one of the men answered through a translator, "It's like a dream; we are very, very happy". They also reaffirmed their shared goal on North Korea.

They arrived with Pompeo who was in North Korea to secure their release.

"If the two sides can agree on a path forward, the United States could likely offer some combination of security guarantees, economic incentives and sanctions relief, and a path to normalization of relations", former State Department official Mintaro Oba said. Holding a U.S. -North Korea summit on the Korean Peninsula would give the impression that the United States has made concessions and given the initiative to North Korea. In return, the USA received empty promises and the North Korean actions were easily reversible.

Kim declared his nuclear force as complete in December, following North Korea's most powerful nuclear test to date in September and three flight tests of ICBMs created to reach the USA mainland. He was accused of unspecified 'hostile acts.

Coates said that North Korea handing over details about its existing program would "set us up with a greater chance of success, anything that they would like to do, but we haven't been signaling preconditions up until this point".

Exchanging prisoners for an opening with the West has been a common tactic of Pyongyang over the years.

A new CNN poll shows that after rattling the nation and the world a year ago by threatening to wipe North Korea off the map, his turn to diplomacy is winning increasing public approval. Last June, American student Otto Warmbier was sentenced to hard labor after he was caught taking a propaganda poster during a North Korean tourism trip. He died soon after his return to the United States. It can be said that Trump's decision to choose a third-party country by attaching importance to neutrality was wise.

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China is now North Korea's biggest trade partner and the peninsula nation relies heavily on China for its economy.

A combination photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and USA president Donald Trump.

Trump is set to welcome South Korea President Moon May 22 at the White House, the first meeting between the two since the April 27 inter-Korean summit between Moon and Kim.

The president has hailed the thawing in relations as a diplomatic breakthrough and chalked it up to his hardline stand with Pyongyang.

The president thanked Kim for the release of the three Americans.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told North Korea's top diplomat that he wanted to end decades of conflict with the Hermit Kingdom and collaborate to achieve peace.

"We'll require a robust verification program, one that we would undertake with partners around the world which would achieve that outcome", he warned.

"However, only Japan goes against this trend", it said.

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