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Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang twice to meet with Kim in recent months, in a precursor to the Trump-Kim meeting. They seem to be in good health.

Plus at 3,000 miles away, it's just close enough to North Korea that the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, can take a direct flight there without stopping to refuel.

Mr Trump confirmed the first details of the summit through a tweet on Thursday.

When the men arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland early Thursday, they were greeted by President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

"Very exciting", the President exclaimed.

The freed prisoners are in good health, and US officials said they did not find any significant physical or psychiatric concerns.

Mr Trump said Kim wants to bring North Korea into "the real world". "Maybe it will [work out], maybe it won't".

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While denying there will be any provision of economic support to North Korea for the time being, Abe said Japan would have to share with the global community the cost of nuclear inspections by the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency in North Korea. When asked if other state leaders, such as South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping, would be involved, Coates said "there are possibilities, but we don't know".

"My proudest achievement will be - this is part of it - when we denuclearize that entire peninsula".

Much remains uncertain about the agenda for the meeting between Trump and Kim.

Trump thanked Kim for releasing the three Americans from captivity, saying he believes Kim wants to reach an agreement on denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Friday said she believes the recent release of American prisoners from North Korea is a sign of progress as the USA prepares for negotiations with leaders there on nuclear development.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered on Friday to help improve North Korea's sanctions-hit economy if the country "quickly" dismantles its nuclear weapons program. "I really think a lot of progress has been made", he added of Kim. "It's never been taken this far, there's never been a relationship like this".

They also agreed to pursue three-way talks involving the two Koreas and the USA, or four-way talks involving the two Koreas, the U.S. and China, with a view to declaring an end to the war and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.


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