Trump welcomes back Americans freed by North Korea

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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the us will be open to helping North Korea rebuild its economy if Kim Jong Un agrees to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

"If we didn't sign our names, he threatened he would turn us over to the security police in North Korea for watching South Korean television dramas and I had no choice", one of the women said.

Pompeo, who has just returned from Pyongyang, said he had "good" talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

A dozen North Korean waitresses and their male manager who were praised for a daring escape from their government have claimed they didn't flee at all-instead, they were forcefully taken in a plot hatched by rival, US -backed South Korea.

However, experts told VOA there is a gap between the United States and North Korea regarding the steps toward denuclearization, with North Korea continues to press for a phased and incremental approach. Referring to the possibility of reaching a denuclearisation deal with North Korea, Trump said: "We will see if we can do something that people did not think was going to happen for many, many years and a lot of bad things could have happened in between".

"While the North Koreans say that nuclear disarmament should proceed stage by stage, taking into account reciprocal steps and in the absence of a threat from the United States, the U.S. side insists on North Korea's transparent and unconditional denuclearization", the expert noted.

"We had good conversations, conversations that involve deep complex problems, challenges, strategic decisions that chairman Kim has before him", Pompeo said.

At a ruling party meeting last month, North Korea had already announced that it has suspended all tests of nuclear devices and ICBMs and the plan to close the nuclear testing ground.

Abe says he is determined to pursue efforts to bring them home and seek support from the U.S., South Korea and China.

Trump has repeatedly said that if the meeting with Kim does not take the right course, he may walk out or cancel the summit.

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Mike Pompeo with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at the State Department where they discussed issues surrounding the likely meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

He said of the North Korean leader, "I really think he wants to do something", adding, "I really think a lot of progress has been made".

The White House cautioned that any provocation from North Korea before the meeting could jeopardize the summit.

"There's a danger here of the peace track moving more quickly than the denuclearization track", warned Abraham Denmark, an Asia expert and former senior U.S. defense official.

US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement has shown the world that he's on a mission to fulfil his election promises ... no matter how much global chaos they cause.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made clear the USA team won't accede to a phased lifting of the worldwide sanctions that they believe forced Kim to the table.

Despite the high probability of a meeting between the U.S. and North Korean leaders, it is yet unclear whether the sides will be able to reach agreement, the expert noted.

He added of the talks between his administration and the North Korean government, "It's never been taken this far".

In North Korea's bombastic rhetoric, "denuclearization" has, for years, been a byword for United States troop withdrawals from South Korea and an excuse for stalling.

People can be jailed by the regime for nearly anything, activists say, with crimes ranging from watching a South Korean DVD to trying to defect from the country. "Dead stop. The flourishing ends and the prison state of North Korea sadly begins". "North Korea summit" and the denuclearization of North Korea.

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