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The US is backing away from their “all or nothing” stance towards North Korea as the two countries prepare to sit down and begin hashing out further details of agreements made at the recent Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo taking over meetings with the North Korean regime.

Key quotes

“At the Singapore summit, Kim made a broad commitment to “work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” but has made no mention of how or when Pyongyang might give up a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States and its allies.

U.S. officials have since been trying to flesh out an agreement that critics say is short on substance and map a route to a deal that might live up to Trump’s enthusiastic portrayal of the summit outcome.  But U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there had been no sign of a breakthrough and little progress toward even defining the keys terms of any agreement.

What has been seen instead is an apparent softening in the Trump administration’s approach, in spite of what U.S. officials say are intelligence assessments saying that North Korea is continuing to deceive Washington about its weapons programs.

The U.S. administration has previously demanded that North Korea agree to abandon its entire nuclear program before it could expect any relief from tough international sanctions. Ahead of the Singapore summit, Pompeo said Trump would reject anything short of “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.”

But following talks on Sunday between U.S. envoy Sung Kim and North Korean counterparts to set up Pompeo’s latest Pyongyang visit, this “CVID” mantra appears suddenly to have disappeared from the U.S. State Department lexicon.

It says pressure will remain until North Korea denuclearizes, but in statements this week, has redefined the U.S. goal as “the final, fully verified denuclearization of (North Korea) as agreed to by Chairman Kim.” “