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North Korea

Satellite imagery gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies indicates that North Korea is building new ballistic missiles at a factory just outside its capital, according to The Washington Post.

What are believed to be the remains of some 55 U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War have arrived in South Korea aboard a U.S. Air Force transport plane from the North in accordance with an agreement made last month between President Trump and Kim Jong Un at their summit in Singapore.

"A U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft containing remains of fallen service members has departed Wonsan, North Korea," the White House said in a statement late Thursday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finished two days of talks with senior North Korean officials in Pyongyang on Saturday, telling reporters that the two countries agreed to continue discussions on denuclearization and the repatriation of the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War.

The talks came amid growing concern among nuclear experts that North Korea is not taking steps toward denuclearization and uncertainty as to what President Trump and Kim Jong Un meant when they committed to it in Singapore last month.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he expects North Korea to take steps toward major nuclear disarmament within the next two-and-a-half years.

"Most certainly in the president's first term," he said, speaking to a pool of journalists in Seoul, South Korea, where he was meeting his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Tuesday in Singapore. The two signed a joint statement committing to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

After the summit, Trump spoke to reporters about the meeting and took questions. Following is a transcript of the press conference, provided by the White House, annotated by NPR reporters.

Experts have been left scratching their heads over one of the most concrete concessions President Trump says he received from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during Tuesday's summit in Singapore.

At a press conference after their meeting, Trump said Kim had agreed to destroy "a major missile engine testing site."

The day began with a historic handshake, the first meeting ever between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. As Kim Jong Un and President Trump strode toward each other and clasped hands Tuesday morning at the Capella resort on Singapore's Sentosa Island, it marked a diplomatic milestone — and the start of what seems certain to be a long negotiation process over North Korea's nuclear program.

"I feel really great," the president said after the handshake.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET Tuesday

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a broad statement Tuesday that calls for a "firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," after their historic summit in Singapore — the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Former President George H.W. Bush was deep in nuclear negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The 1990 talks, focused on an arms control treaty, were suddenly interrupted when a seasoned Soviet interpreter made a critical mistake.

The interpreter, Igor Korchilov, said the word "verifying" in English, instead of "verified." Everyone in the White House Cabinet Room froze and turned toward him — including his boss.

Gorbachev quickly said: "No, no — I never said that."

Veteran diplomats say it could take years to assess the results of this week's nuclear summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump doesn't expect to wait that long.

"I think within the first minute, I'll know," whether Kim is serious about giving up his nuclear weapons, the president told reporters Saturday. "Just my touch. My feel. That's what I do."

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

President Trump says his nuclear summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is back on.

"We'll be meeting on June 12 in Singapore," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, after escorting Kim's top deputy, Kim Yong Chol, out of an Oval Office meeting.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting with a top North Korean official for the second day on Thursday, resuming talks that began over dinner in New York as the two seek to salvage a June 12 summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The summit, planned since April, was called off just a week ago by Trump amid a renewed round of heated rhetoric from Pyongyang and concerns over whether North Korea was sincere about "denuclearization." Within days of canceling the summit, however, there was talk of getting it back on track.

Should President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet after all next month in Singapore, their discussions will center on one seven-syllable word: denuclearization.

The former head of North Korean military intelligence is traveling to New York, according to President Trump, who says Kim Yong Chol is coming to the U.S. to discuss the possible summit with Kim Jong Un.

The senior North Korean official's trip to the U.S. was initially reported by South Korean media, which said Kim Yong Chol had flown to Beijing and is booked on an Air China flight to New York that leaves Wednesday.

Confirming that news early Tuesday, Trump tweeted:

Updated 11:22 p.m. ET

President Trump's abrupt announcement he was calling off a June 12 summit with North Korea's leader was met Friday with an open invitation from North Korea to meet "at any time."

Trump's decision, which officials said Thursday was delivered in a letter directed to Kim Jong Un, prompted questions and dismay from world leaders.

Updated at 4:47 p.m. ET

President Trump cautioned that his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may not happen as planned.

"There's a chance, there's a very substantial chance that it won't work out," Trump said during an Oval Office photo op with the president of South Korea. "I don't want to waste a lot of time. And I'm sure he doesn't want to waste a lot of time. So there's a very substantial chance that it won't work out and that's OK. That doesn't mean that it won't work out over a period of time."

Updated at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday

North Korea said it is canceling high-level talks with South Korea planned for Wednesday at their shared border area because of ongoing military exercises between the South and the United States.

The talks were scheduled for Seoul and Pyongyang to follow up on the agreement struck by the two Korean leaders at their historic summit last month.

Updated at 5:20 p.m.

North Korea has announced that it will dismantle its nuclear test site. According to the Associated Press, North Korea's Foreign Ministry delivered a statement delivered through state media Saturday announcing the dismantling will occur between May 23 and 25.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reluctant to share details of his whirlwind meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Friday — a day after Pompeo returned from Pyongyang.

But he did expound on the economic benefits North Korea and its people would enjoy if Kim got rid of his country's nuclear weapons.

"If Chairman Kim chooses the right path there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korean people," Pompeo said.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

President Trump says his historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un will take place in Singapore next month.

"We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!" Trump tweeted.

The talks, now scheduled for June 12, will mark the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with the leader of North Korea.

Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET

Three American men who had been held by North Korea touched U.S. soil once again early Thursday, where they were met by President Trump, who has hailed his diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for winning their freedom.

The trio — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim – all held on charges of espionage, arrived at Joint Base Andrews just outside of Washington, D.C., at about 2:40 a.m. ET. Their plane taxied to the meeting area, where a giant U.S. flag was suspended over the tarmac.

Updated at 12:49 p.m. ET

North Korea has released three Americans it had been holding captive, in a deal that was announced as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ended his visit to the isolated country. They left the country with Pompeo and will arrive back in the U.S. early Thursday, with an expected arrival between 2 and 3 a.m. ET at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. President Trump says he will meet them when they land.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

President Trump closed the door on U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday — but during the very same televised announcement, the president opened a window onto talks about another country's nuclear program: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in North Korea to discuss an expected summit between the two countries.

Updated at 2:27 p.m. ET Sunday

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un said the country will close down its main nuclear testing site sometime in May, South Korea says.

South Korean presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan said Sunday that Kim agreed to the plan during a meeting between the leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has announced that his country no longer needs nuclear or missile tests and that it would shut down its nuclear weapons test site.

"The nuclear test site has done its job," Kim said in a statement carried by North Korea's state media. The report also said the decision was made in a bid to pursue economic growth and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea earlier this month and met with leader Kim Jong Un — a meeting that "went very smoothly," President Trump said on Wednesday.

"A good relationship was formed," Trump said, adding that the direct contact with North Korea — a rare step for the U.S. — was intended to work out details of a possible Trump-Kim summit.

Pyongyang has told Washington that it is ready to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump meet, a U.S. official has confirmed to NPR.

In direct contacts between U.S. and North Korean officials, the latter relayed to the Trump administration that Kim is willing to talk about the key sticking point in relations between the two countries, NPR's Michele Kelemen reported late Sunday.

Updated at 2:58 a.m. ET

President Trump has agreed to a face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "at a place and time to be determined," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Thursday.

The announcement came in response to a stunning invitation from Kim, relayed by South Korea's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, who briefed Trump and other U.S. officials on Chung's recent meeting with Kim in Pyongyang.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

North Korea says it is willing to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula with the United States, a key requirement laid out by the Trump administration as a precondition for talks with Pyongyang.

South Korean officials who returned from a two-day visit to the North Korean capital reportedly brought back the communication. The North also said it was willing to send a delegation for dialogue with the South next month at the border village of Panmunjom.

As the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang that saw the two Koreas come together — if briefly — came to a close on Sunday, another potential sign of détente emerged; North Korea said it was willing to hold talks with the United States, according to South Korea's presidential Blue House.

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