Trump says meeting with Kim will be 'terrific'

Speaking at the White House, Trump expressed hope that relations - which for a century have been marked by war, animosity and a perilous arms race - could be put on a friendlier footing.

"They are very much helping us at the border of North Korea and they're continuing to, and you know, they view it as something they should do", the president said. "I think we'll go in with a lot of respect and we'll see what happens".

In the run-up to the summits, observers are looking to see whether there will be any indication from the assembly of a change in Pyongyang's policy of pursuing ballistic missile and nuclear weapon programs.

North Korea held the annual session of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) without its leader Kim Jong-un, state media reported on Thursday.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told his confirmation hearing for the post of secretary of state that he was optimistic conditions could be set at that meeting for a diplomatic outcome to the crisis over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States. "I think it's certainly very beneficial to them".

They also reaffirmed close cooperation among them and the USA to maintain maximum pressure on the North to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Wednesday's assembly meeting comes just a few weeks ahead of the first summit the two Koreas will have in more than a decade on April 27.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's top national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, was in Washington earlier in the day and met with his USA counterpart, John Bolton, to discuss preparations for the summits.


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