US hopes to have North Korea as 'close partner' not enemy: Pompeo

The three Americans formerly held hostage in North Korea gesture next

Image Mr Trump said it was a 'special night for three really great people'

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered three recommendations to Trump: allow experts to make the deal, don't negotiate away the "equities" of others, including Japan and South Korea, and "don't be anxious to remove American troops from the equation". After being flown to a US military base in Japan, the men were taken to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's vow came as senior us officials expressed growing optimism ahead of the landmark June 12 summit between Kim and President Donald Trump. Carl Risch, the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, and a doctor went to another hotel to pick up the men and bring them to the airport, the official said.

Pompeo said he had "good, substantive" conversations with Kim in Pyongyang and believed both sides understood the ultimate goal of the summit.

Earlier Thursday, with the American former detainees by his side on a dark air base tarmac, Trump said during a made-for-TV ceremony that it was a "great honor" to welcome the men back to the USA, but he added that "the true honor is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons".

With the freed hostages next to him, Trump literally thanked Kim Jong Un for being "excellent" to them. Trump made some brief remarks. When it comes to unstable dictators seeking attention and approval from an unstable president, who can claim to divine motivations or predict outcomes?

Abe praised Kim for his recent "dynamic" moves, citing his two trips to China in a matter of weeks and his deciding to hold talks with Trump.

In a statement Wednesday, South Korean government spokesman Yoon Young-chan called again for Kim Jong Un to release the six South Koreans still held by the North. Skepticism remains as to North Korea's intentions.

What has the reaction been?

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in has pushed for Panmunjom, one reason Trump considered it. Singapore has had diplomatic relations with Pyongyang since 1975, hosts a North Korean embassy, and has close ties to China.

They can ensure both the President's security and Kim Jong Un's security, as well as provide neutrality, he said.

The top diplomats from the United States and South Korea meet Friday to lay the groundwork for a summit they hope will prove a historic chance to end North Korea's nuclear menace.

Abe also said such an opportunity could only follow successful talks between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump next month, which would raise expectations for an overall resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

As well as serving North Korean food, restaurant workers often dance in traditional costume and sing North Korean songs.

WUSA9 News researchers verified this tweet saying Obama failed at freeing the three men from North Korea-that's false.

"Thinking back, it was all nonsense but back then, I had no other choice", the woman said.

Political prisoners are often sent to separate prisons - usually brutal labour camps, which involve hard physical work such as mining and logging. "He was a great young man who really suffered", Trump said.

Last year, North Korea released American Otto Warmbier, a university student who was detained at the Pyongyang airport in January 2016 while on a five-day tour of North Korea. "We know who we are dealing with here", said Victoria Coates, of the National Security Council.

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