United States president, North Korean leader wrap up expanded negotiations at Hanoi summit

Kim Jong Nam exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in Narita Japan. Two women went on trial for the brazen assassination

Reporters watch a TV live broadcast about talks between top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 28, 2019.

Skeptics say such agreements would leave in place a significant portion of North Korea's nuclear-tipped missiles while robbing the United States of its negotiating leverage going forward.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left open the possibility of denuclearization during his meeting Thursday with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Kicking off the second day of talks at the French-colonial-era Metropole hotel earlier, Trump again stressed the talks aimed at tackling North Korea's nuclear threat should not be rushed.

Trump and Kim will later be holding a working lunch and appearing at a joint-agreement signing ceremony later in the day.

The US president, who touted his "special relationship" with Kim, has since frequently dangled the prospect of a brighter economic future for a nuclear-free North Korea, at one point saying there was "AWESOME" potential.

The U.S. president nevertheless appeared upbeat with Kim even as his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified at a congressional hearing in Washington, calling Trump a "conman" who knew in advance about the release of stolen emails aimed at hurting his Democratic rival in the 2016 election campaign.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which deals with affairs with North Korea, couldn't confirm whether it was the first time Kim answered a question from a foreign journalist.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a longstanding hawk on North Korea, told reporters that he "fully supports President Trump's decision to make no easy compromise". Asked if this summit would yield a political declaration to end the Korean War, Trump told reporters on Wednesday: "We'll see".

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It said Trump's willingness to offer sanctions relief in exchange for broader nuclear disarmament steps by the North shows that the nuclear negotiations have entered an "elevated level".

Kim, who answered a question from a Western journalist for perhaps the first time, said "I believe by intuition that good results will be produced".

But here we are today, sitting next to each other, and that gives us a hope that we will be successful with time.

USA intelligence officials remain skeptical that Pyongyang intends to follow through on Kim's Singapore pledge to denuclearize.

"The yardstick for assessing. results is not whether Trump proclaims himself 'happy, ' but whether the outcome takes North Korea measurably closer to revealing and dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

For his part, Kim, when asked whether he was ready to denuclearize, said "If I'm not willing to do that I won't be here right now".

During a recent telephone call with President Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he would take the responsibility for inter-Korean economic cooperation, without any comment on the dismantlement of Pyongyang's nuclear arms programs.

Such an office would mark the first United States presence in North Korea.

Trump's translator in Wednesday's private chat was Yun-hyang Lee, the U.S. State Department's division chief for interpreting services, who also translated for the president at his first meeting with Kim past year in Singapore.

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