Pompeo: North Korea not clear on scope of closing Yongbyon nuclear facility

Saturday, 02 Mar, 2019

"Now we must speak out". Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity.

The issue arose in Vietnam on Thursday when Trump was asked at a news conference if he had talked to Kim - whom he has called a "friend" - about Warmbier, who died in 2017 shortly after his release from more than a year of detention in North Korea.

The nuclear summit between Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un collapsed after the two sides failed to reach a deal due to a stand-off over U.S. sanctions on the reclusive nation - a stunning end to high-stakes meetings meant to disarm a global threat.

Analysts say since Trump is dogged by scandal at home as his former lawyer Michael Cohen described him as a conman publicly, he is seeking a big foreign policy win to push back domestic troubles.

Mr Trump also interjected on a question about human rights, saying they were "discussing everything".

Trump said Kim was willing to take some steps toward denuclearizing his country but not enough to lift US sanctions.

The president said that when he raised the issue of a second enrichment facility apart from Yongbyon, the North Korean delegation was "surprised" by what the U.S. knew.

His remarks contradicted Trump's statement that he cut the summit short because the North Koreans wanted sanctions to be lifted in their entirety, an offer he couldn't accept.

Trump said this week that he takes Kim "at his word" that Kim was unaware of alleged mistreatment of Otto Warmbier. They said "no excuses or lavish praise can change that".

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 16, 2016.

Pyongyang officials returned Otto to the U.S.in a coma in June 2017, and he passed away days later in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Both North and South Korea are united in their shared resentment of Japan's brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over the peninsula.

During their two-day nuclear summit in Hanoi, Trump referred to Kim as "my friend" in a tweet and praised their relationship. He was arrested by the North Korean authorities for taking a propaganda banner from a hotel he was staying at and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. Instead of standing up to the regime's treatment of the student, Trump suggested his death was the result of prison conditions and said he believed Kim's story.

The White House made no comment about the statement from Warmbier's parents, who were invited to attend Trump's State of the Union address in Congress in January 2018 and were hailed as "incredible people" in his speech.

The official said Kim had put forward his "best offer" of dismantling the Yongbyon facilities under the inspection of USA nuclear experts.