No sanctions relief until NK's complete denuclearization

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"The meeting helped push back that unfavorable scenario and raised the prospects for solving all the problems with peaceful and diplomatic means".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Thursday with families of people abducted by North Korea decades ago and pledged to deal directly with the North to resolve the issue.

Professor Shi Yinhong of Renmin University said China might loosen sanctions or continue with them but give other forms of economic aid to North Korea.

When asked if bringing back the remains of USA soldier died during the Korean war was on the agenda.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States hopes to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in two-and-a-half years, ABC News reported on Wednesday. Washington and Pyongyang now have no formal diplomatic relationship, and North Korea is still technically at war with South Korea, a key US ally.

Although human rights were not included in the joint statement signed by Trump and Kim, the USA president said he raised the issue and he believed the North Korean leader wanted to "do the right thing". "We are going to get complete denuclearization".

Mr Pompeo said the brief, four-point joint statement that emerged from the summit did not encapsulate all the progress the U.S. and North Korea had made.

Trump's remarks followed a historic summit in Singapore between the President and his North Korean counterpart.

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Kim Jong-Il, the father of the current North Korean leader, travelled to the country in 2011 to meet with Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president at the time. Mr. Trump said he and Kim, a dictator accused of directing the murders of family members and starving his own people, had a "very good relationship".

The declaration signed at the end of the summit said the two countries would co-operate towards "new relations", while the United States would provide "security guarantees" to North Korea.

SCHMITZ: China expert and author Bill Bishop says China is likely pleased with the outcome in Singapore. The three posed for photos before sitting with their delegations at three tables arranged in a U-shaped formation.

Critics have attacked Trump after North Korea released footage of the US President saluting a North Korean general. The next scheduled major exercise, involving tens of thousands of troops, normally would be held in August.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit Russia in September.

Trump's friendliness towards Kim and his administration has been a focal point of criticism toward the Singapore summit. South Korea has said it's trying to discern Trump's meaning and intent.

The president had announced a halt in the drills after his meeting with Mr Kim on Tuesday, a concession long sought by Pyongyang but generally opposed by Seoul and Tokyo.

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