Pompeo meets Singaporean FM on trade, ASEAN, Trump-Kim meeting

US Democrats on Monday urged President Donald Trump not to squander the "historic" opportunity of a face-to-face summit with North Korea's leader, as the lawmakers opposed any easing of sanctions without complete and verifiable denuclearization.

Singapore's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Balakrishnan will meet with Kim Yong Nam, president of the country's parliament, long serving as its ceremonial head of state, and his counterpart Ri Yong Ho.

A U.S. advance team was spotted at the Capella Hotel last week meeting with North Korean officials in preparation for the summit.

Balakrishnan is the latest senior foreign official to visit the North as summit preparations heat up - last month, top diplomats from China and Russian Federation made trips to Pyongyang.

Following a back-and-forth between the USA and North Korea, Trump on Friday announced that the summit was back on.

North Korea defends its nuclear and missile programs as a deterrent against perceived USA aggression.

Singapore also revoked all work permits held by North Korean citizens in March.

With just one week to go to the summit, hosted by Singapore, very few details have been publicly confirmed.


Responding to a question on "maximum pressure" policy on North Korea, the press secretary said the U.S. policy towards Pyongyang has not changed.

"We're not paying for their expenses", she said.

In the Demilitarised Zone, the US Ambassador's delegation continues diplomatic negotiations with the North Korean delegation.

"This points to two things: the consolidation of Kim Jong Un's power as the sole leader of North Korea and strengthened cooperation between the North's party and military as the country works towards further economic development", said Yang Moo-jin, professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

USA and North Korean officials are continuing to lay the groundwork ahead of the summit.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a Twitter post that the venue would be the Capella Hotel on Sentosa and thanked Singaporeans for their hospitality. My prediction is that at some point during this process, if I were the North Koreans, I'd want to extend this. "So I think you should anticipate that at some point down the road, this will turn into a China-US-South Korea-North Korea talks", Rubio told Fox news.

The US President last week revived the meeting with Mr Kim after initially cancelling it, citing what he called Pyongyang's "open hostility".


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