Pompeo and Bolton outline North Korea plans as talks approach

Trump welcomes Americans home

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that North Korea's prospects are "unbelievably strong if they'll commit to denuclearization".

The choice of Singapore as the site of the first-ever meeting of a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader was as much because it was within reasonable flight time and distance from Pyongyang as because of the island state's political neutrality, a South Korean presidential official told reporters. Kim has gone from being Little Rocket Man and "a madman" to an "honourable" and "excellent" guy in a matter of months. After all, he is reportedly unable to absorbcomprehensive, organized policy briefings, and his opinions tend to reflect those of whomever he spoke to last.

The backdrop has changed from a TV studio to the Oval Office but the formula remains the same: confected distractions about who's up and who's down, with Trump at centre stage at all times and at all costs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Pyongyang to bring them home, and Trump was there to meet them when they arrived before dawn Thursday at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington.

We'll know soon enough if Singapore is for show or for real.

The Japanese government is making arrangements for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to meet US President Donald Trump ahead of a landmark US-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 12, government sources said Friday. A bad deal is "not an option".

Bolton appeared to widen the scope of USA demands, insisting that the US also wanted to put elimination of North Korea's chemical and biological weapons and other issues on the table.

The likelihood of this happening is vanishingly small.

He said his talks with Kim Jong Un had been "constructive", "warm" and "good".

North Korea's former spy chief Kim Yong Chul, director of the country's United Front Department, boasted in a toast to Pompeo over lunch in Pyongyang on Wednesday that North Korea had "perfected" it nuclear capability.

That's not as big a deal as it appears - there is little trust of Washington in Pyongyang to begin with, and North Korea itself has a long history of cheating.

The regime did not have much incentive to surrender its arsenal, even before this week.

The following month, Trump threatens "fire and fury" if Pyongyang continues to threaten America, kicking off months of saber-rattling that set the world on edge.

Mr Trump dismissed what the Iran deal actually achieved. No state armed with nuclear weapons has ever been invaded.

Mr Kang says there must be "airtight" coordination between South Korea and the United States ahead of President Donald Trump's upcoming meeting with Mr Kim.

For his part, Kim will walk into the negotiating chamber with considerable leverage.

Trump will need more than that in order to claim success. With the world's television cameras pointing at him, on the greatest stage on earth, he will be loth to announce failure. "And we will see what happens going forward between now and June 12". This administration has spent all the credit in the diplomatic bank and is deep into the red.

"The next few weeks will be critical, requiring air-tight coordination between our two countries", Kang said.

If, on the other hand, Kim offers Trump something that can be sold as a win, the president will be tempted to grab it.

China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, but Beijing has been irked by Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and supported tough United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.

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