The remarks came as North Korean and U.S. negotiators met in Singapore Monday for final preparations on the eve of an unprecedented summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, seeking to bridge the gaps over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.
Kim met Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday, "made an entry in the visitors' book, and had a friendly talk with him", according to KCNA.
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed reporters, insisting Washington is prepared to take actions to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".
"When I woke up this morning I saw the news in the newspaper that our respected Marshal went to Singapore for the North Korea-U.S. summit", said Han Il Gwang, a Pyongyang resident, displaying typical discretion when speaking to an Associated Press Television crew. I think things could work out very nicely.
A combination of two file photos shows US President Donald Trump, left, in Cleveland, Ohio, May 5, 2018, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, in Panmunjom, South Korea, April 27, 2018.
In a meeting that seemed unthinkable just months ago, the leaders met at a Singapore island resort, shaking hands warmly in front of a row of alternating USA and North Korean flags.
The US president proclaimed "excitement in the air" as he arrived in Singapore yesterday as officials from both countries met to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.
Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get United States troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.
Still, the sense of anticipation was great in Singapore, with people lining spotless streets holding cellphones high as Trump headed to meet Lee.
While Mr Trump was optimistic about prospects for the summit between the old foes, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo injected a note of caution ahead of the meeting, saying it remained to be seen whether Kim was honest about his willingness to denuclearise.
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Foreign Ministry spokesman noted that "optimistic look at the nature of U.S. policy is beyond the bounds of possibility, and the recent violations also confirm this".
Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening.
Pompeo also says Tuesday's meeting presents a test of Kim's willingness to agree to deal his nuclear weapons away for "protections" from the United States.
Key gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail for two countries that have been enemies since the 1950-1953 Korean War, and the officials were trying to push the agenda forward before the leaders meet on Tuesday.
- Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are ready to shake hands, sit down face-to-face and.do what exactly?
Hotel staff discouraged other guests from interacting with the North Koreans, or taking their photographs.
Kim, meanwhile, has received a reception usually only experienced by rockstars, with crowds fighting to see him as he toured Singapore overnight.
Jong-un is reportedly fearful that he might be targeted by an assassin while in Singapore.
Both sides are finalising preparations for Tuesday's historic forum in Singapore, which is due to kick off at 9:00am (local time).
That's in part because of South Korea's diplomatic outreach to the North, which was highlighted by two summits this spring between the rivals' leaders.