After shaking hands, meeting one-on-one and in a group, and breaking bread-or rather stuffed cucumbers-over a working lunch, U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a mysterious agreement that Trump said was "very comprehensive" and would lead to a relationship with North Korea that is "very different than it has been in the past". As I recently wrote, while certain sanctions on North Korea are discretionary, a key 2016 law specifically obligates the president to sanction people and entities complicit in human rights abuses in North Korea - not just those involved in weapons proliferation - and the Trump administration legally can't suspend sanctions more broadly unless North Korea implements key human rights reforms.
Weeks later, more insults followed.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday thanked Singapore for hosting the historic summit between him and US President Donald Trump tomorrow. North Korea is seeking a security guarantee - possibly including a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War - and the removal of the U.S.'s nuclear umbrella protecting allies South Korea and Japan.
"They may be able to pull rabbits out of a hat that the rest of us conventional diplomats would not have been able to do", he said.
Trump's retort included mention of his own "nuclear button" - one that doesn't actually exist.
The president also said he would "absolutely" invite Kim to the White House soon.
Professor Hajek added Trump showed his experience in front of the TV cameras during the initial meeting.
Kim, who was sitting alongside Trump, said through a translator, "We had a historic meeting and chose to leave the past behind and we are about to sign a historic document".
The U.S. will move to tighten the punishing measures if diplomacy fails, he added.
Former US basketball star Dennis Rodman wept during an interview in Singapore on Tuesday as he discussed unprecedented talks between the North Korean and US leaders in the city-state aimed at trying to end a nuclear standoff.
In the hours before the summit began, Trump expressed optimism about prospects for the first-ever meeting of sitting USA and North Korean leaders, while Pompeo injected a note of caution whether Kim would prove to be honest about his willingness to denuclearise.
Rodman arrived in Singapore around midnight Monday, hours before President Donald Trump was set to meet Kim for an historic summit.
"This is just a new beginning", Trump said while shaking hands with Kim. In a rambling interview, he claimed credit for the summit taking place and described how he had received death threats when he first met Kim.
Pompeo laid out some of the US cards on Monday, saying the administration was sticking to its demand for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the North.
Kim acted like a statesman and took advantage of the opportunity to seek a diplomatic solution that could save his beleaguered nation, South Korean media reported.