What the USA and North Korea mean when they talk about 'denuclearization'

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The U.S. wants a "rapid" process in which North Korea's abandonment of its nuclear program is "total and complete, that won't be extended over time", Pompeo said of the agenda for the planned summit.

"A bad deal is not an option", Pompeo said in his written opening statement for a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

Pompeo said he made clear to Kim the United States view of what steps Pyongyang needs to take, including verification work, in order to demonstrate "real denuclearization".

Pompeo's testimony Wednesday to the House Foreign Affairs Committee marked a significant walking back from rhetoric that North Korea has scorned, raising doubts about the meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump have planned for Singapore on June 12.

The event is scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, but the North has said it may cancel if the United States insists on it giving up nuclear weapons.

Asked on Wednesday whether the summit would go ahead, Trump told reporters: "It could very well happen". Maybe it will happen at a different time. "If we can get the two to agree that that's the end state we're working for, we will have a good day".

The spat between the USA and North Korea over what denuclearisation means raised questions about how clear Pompeo had been in his two meetings with Kim at Easter and earlier this month.

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North Korea conducted several nuclear tests over the past few years and developed long-distance missiles which, it says, can carry nuclear bombs as far as the USA mainland.

"I did a great service to this country by firing James Comey", Mr. Trump said Wednesday.

The United States and South Korea are working to keep the scheduled USA summit with North Korea on track - even after President Donald Trump's comment that "there's a very substantial chance" it won't go off as planned. "Those are the goals we discussed".

The change in tone came after North Korean officials blasted national security adviser John Bolton for suggesting that North Korea would quickly eliminate its weapons of mass destruction as Libya did - a move North Korean leaders see as a risky approach that could end with Kim facing the same deadly fate as former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"When Bolton gave an interview and talked about following a Libya model, Pyongyang said, 'I don't think so, that ain't happening". "We still look forward to the meeting between the USA and North Korean leaders proceeding smoothly and achieving positive results".

And if North Korea truly has completed its nuclear program, as it says it has, then it no longer needs an active test site anyway.

Russian Federation announced Wednesday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to North Korea for a visit on May 31.