Americans rejoiced at the release last week of three U.S. citizens imprisoned in North Korea.
The White House referred to the prisoners’ release as “a victory for the world.” President Donald Trump, who greeted the three men when they arrived in the United States said, “The fact that we were able to get them out so soon was really a tribute to a lot of things, including a certain process that’s taking place right now.”
Plans are being laid for the historic summit between the President and Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12 in Singapore. Mr. Trump praised Kim for letting the men out before the summit begins; the White House called it a gesture of good will.
President Trump said he believes Kim wants “to do something and bring [North Korea] into the real world. . .We’ll see what happens.”
U.S. officials have said that President Trump is meeting Kim with his eyes wide open and that the complete, verifiable, irreversible, denuclearization of North Korea is what the United States requires, fully cognizant of North Korea’s past failures to live up to its promises to do just that. This time, until that goal is reached, stringent economic sanctions on North Korea, referred to as the maximum pressure campaign, will continue.
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said, “If the North Korean regime made the critical strategic decision to get out of the weapons of mass destruction business, then we have a chance for progress.”
Secretary of State Pompeo declared that if Kim Jong-Un provides what the United States is demanding, “the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea,” the United States will provide security assurances and sanctions relief. However, he noted, “This is going to have to be different and big and special. It’s something that has never been undertaken before. If we’re going to get to this historic outcome, both sides have to be prepared to take truly historic measures to achieve it.”
Secretary of State Pompeo added, “There is a great deal of work to be done between our two countries between now and then to set the stage for a successful summit in Singapore.”