North Korea says Trump agreed on step-by-step denuclearization process

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Beijing has suggested worldwide sanctions against Pyongyang could be eased, just hours after a historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended in a joint statement on "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula.

Pompeo is in South Korea a day after President Donald Trump met with Kim Jong Un and announced the USA would freeze what he called "war games" with North Korea.

However, Japan's defense ministry said the joint military exercises were necessary for East Asian security. and it would seek to continue the drills with the U.S. But "I've never agreed with 100 percent of what this president says off the cuff like that".

The ICBM has been a grave concern for the USA, as the North was seen using the missile capability to keep American forces at bay and undercut the credibility of the U.S.' security commitment to its Asian allies.

For weeks, Pompeo and other officials have insisted North Korea must agree to "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization" before economic sanctions can be lifted.

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One is allowing western intelligence services the chance to gain new insights about the health of the absolute ruler of North Korea, it said.

On Monday, Mattis told Pentagon reporters that there had been no discussions on future withdrawals of USA troops from Korea.

President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday, issuing a joint statement afterward that reaffirmed the North's commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and gave US guarantees of security to North Korea. When President Richard Nixon visited Beijing that year, Mao Zedong further distanced China from the Soviet Union in favour of friendship with the US.

Pompeo says he was there when Trump talked about it with Kim.

As for whether clients are approaching him on doing deals in North Korea, "the answer is no", Paulsen said.

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As reports emerged that the South Korean government was surprised by the announcement, questions were raised about whether Mattis and other US policymakers had also been caught off guard.

"Kim Jong-un is desperate", said Hong.

Highlighting the central role for China, which is a close ally of North Korea, the Chinese foreign minister said, "I don't think anyone would doubt the unique and important role China has played in this process, and it will continue to play".

Regarding the issue of 28,500 American forces stationed in the South, Trump said he wants to "bring them back home", but the issue was "not part of the equation right now".

"Around the same time, Mr. Trump had an idea about how to counter the nuclear threat posed by North Korea, which he got after speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin", The Journal wrote of the plan. "The secretary is in full alignment with the president to meet his goal, which is denuclearization of the peninsula", Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White said.

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