Mr. Cha made the comment in April to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, arguing that "a preventative unilateral attack by the United States on North Korea" would need congressional approval and take into "sober account" the possibility of counterstrikes targeting the 350,000 USA military personnel and other Americans living in Japan and South Korea. After the 2016 election, then-US President Barack Obama told Trump that North Korea was the biggest national security threat he faced, according to a US official.
The Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers' Party, also featured his departure in a full-color two-page spread, declaring on the front page that he was leaving in a Chinese plane for a "historic summit" with the USA president.
Pompeo said these guarantees would be "different and unique" than America has been willing to provide before.
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Tuesday's meeting, convened at a luxury hotel on the island of Sentosa, comes just three months after Trump accepted North Korea's invitation for talks on the spot. But on the eve of the summit, he altered his schedule, opting to return at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday after a full day of meetings with Kim - nearly 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated. They'll be joined later by their staffs for an expanded meeting and a working lunch.
Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Singapore's Education Minister Ong Ye Kung pose for a photo in Singapore, June 11, 2018, in this photo obtained from social media. Trump had previously said the talks might extend beyond the first day.
Just hours before what could be the most important meeting of his life, a seemingly relaxed and confident Kim Jong Un took a night on the town in Singapore, taking selfies and being greeted by cheering onlookers. He said last week that he expects to know "within the first minute" of their meeting if Kim is serious about giving up his weapons.
Besides, Singapore's prime minister "wished Chairman Kim success for the US-DPRK Summit and expressed hope that the US-DPRK meeting will advance the prospects for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the larger region". He most recently travelled there a year ago as a private citizen.
Kim's repressive regime largely maintains its power via a brutal system of prison camps in which hundreds of thousands of people are now detained, even for crimes as small as accessing foreign information through a radio or gossiping about the state. He credits his administration's "maximum pressure" campaign with getting Kim to the table. North Korea criticized them anyway within a few days, leading the United States to call off the part of the exercise involving B-52 bombers.
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The trio had a lovely time, with photographs showing them running around and smiling throughout the sunny event. Prince George plays with his polo mallet.
But Pompeo has refused to answer reporters' questions about whether the two governments had reached agreement on how to define denuclearization, and how it might play out.
It will be interesting to see how much he participates in the bilateral meeting and whether North Korea takes issue with his presence.
Former national security officials and analysts say a sweeping pact is unlikely to come together by the time the two leaders depart on Tuesday.
Asked Saturday about his goals, he said: "Well, I think the minimum would be relationship". Kim's schedule was unclear.
In a sign of lingering tensions, the North Koreans have been closely scrutinizing all American staffers who are slated to be in any U.S. The North has faced diplomatic and economic sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.
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