But the summit statement reference to North Korea committing to work toward the complete denuclearization of the peninsula has used been by North Korea in the past to include a US nuclear umbrella in the region, and echoes promises it has failed to keep.
After North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died in 2011, his son, Jong Un, was named the head of the nation and went on to purge other family members from the party.
Illustrative: US Army M1-A2 tanks fire during US-South Korea joint military live-fire drills at Seungjin Fire Training Field in Pocheon, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, April 26, 2017.
"Not all of that work appeared in the final document", Pompeo said. He said negotiations would recommence "in the next week or so". "North Korea is a small and weak country surrounded by big powers, and that has made North Koreans paranoid about their own national security".
Several observers in the U.S. have expressed concerns that the summit will legitimize the odious Kim regime - the world's foremost pariah state, responsible for the operation of unconscionable gulags, currency counterfeiting, cyber theft, and even the manufacture of methamphetamines.
Even while buckling under the U.S. administration's "maximum pressure" policy of energetic sanctions expansion and implementation - a policy that is now dead in the water after the summit - Kim was able to complete a sufficiently credible nuclear deterrent to force the United States to the negotiating table. The president also said the he trusts Kim will follow through, but won't admit if he got it wrong.
"My whole life has been deals", he said. Pompeo, the former Central Intelligence Agency director, then plans to fly to Beijing to update the Chinese government on the talks.
Critics pointed to the lack of specifics in the agreement while questioning whether Trump gave up too much while securing too little in return during his several hours of talks with Kim in what was the first meeting between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.
The secretary insisted that Trump was clear both with Kim and in his post-summit press conference that the military exercises would only be abandoned if "productive, good-faith negotiations" are ongoing. The next military exercise is scheduled for August, and in years past, has drawn thousands of troops from the U.S., South Korea and other countries. The words came back to haunt the administration, as the war dragged on throughout Bush's presidency.
Trump's claim that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat is questionable.
Independent experts say the North could have enough fissile material for between about a dozen and 60 nuclear bombs.
Pompeo also has to sort out exactly what the agreement entails.
"It's going to be a lot different than it was in the past", Trump concurred. But it "all depends on whether North Korea is serious about denuclearization". As he landed Wednesday in Washington following the summit, he declared on Twitter that America and the world can "sleep well tonight". "He's an incredible guy", Trump said.
"He's a tough guy", the president said during a Fox News interview that aired Wednesday.
"The supreme leader cherishes her voice and North Koreans notice it as well, so there is no reason for Kim Jong Un to replace someone who has been called a treasure in North Korea", said Ahn Chan-il, a North Korean defector who now lives in South Korea.
On the joint U.S.
"He was unambiguous about that", Pompeo said. South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently promised to push for this amid improving ties with North Korea.
The joint statement released Tuesday was scant on the details, leaving the agreement between Trump and Kim vague.
Tokyo has reacted with concern at Trump's plans to cancel military exercises with South Korea, saying such drills are vital for East Asian security. He said he planned to continue sharing the view with Washington and Seoul. "He's clearly executing people", Baier said.