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Trump, Pompeo Disagree on N. Korea 'Nuclear Threat'

As the president preps for historic Hanoi summit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 24, 2019 3:10 PM CST
In this June 12, 2018, photo, US President Donald Trump stands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting on Sentosa Island, in Singapore.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Donald Trump is trying to manage expectations for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, predicting a "continuation of the progress" made last time, the AP reports. Trump tweeted Sunday that he was leaving early the next day for the meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, adding a tantalizing nod to "Denuclearization?" He also said Kim knows that "without nuclear weapons, his country could fast become one of the great economic powers anywhere in the World." Their first meeting, in Singapore in June, produced a vaguely worded commitment from North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Heading into this week's summit, Trump has said that North Korea has not tested any nuclear weapons in months and that as long as that testing has ceased, he's in no rush.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday that he was hoping for a "substantive step forward." But, he cautioned, "it may not happen, but I hope that it will." He added: "President Trump has also said this is going to take time. There may have to be another summit. We may not get everything done this week." Pompeo also said he believes North Korea remains a nuclear threat, though Trump tweeted after the Singapore summit that "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea." Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who serves on the Senate foreign relations committee, expressed concerns about Trump's negotiating efforts Sunday on CBS, saying the president must be "careful" with what he offers.

(Read more North Korea stories.)

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