By 1992, the standoff at the DMZ was less hostile: that year the two Koreas signed a declaration pledging to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
Everything about that choice of words reinforces the near-consensus among North Korea watchers that Pyongyang's aim at the summit is to gain United States acknowledgement that it is a nuclear weapons power, and to be treated as such. Both promises were abandoned.
Congratulating Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Trump for the successful release of the three US citizens, all Korean-Americans, from North Korea, Mr. Kang said this was a "promising" signal for the upcoming US-North Korea summit. "They looked at us and said, 'God bless America".
Kang dismissed speculation that a drawing down of the 28,500 American troops stationed in North Korea could be part of a deal on ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions. "Now we are hopeful that we can work together to resolve this conflict", Pompeo said Wednesday.
As the Trump-Kim summit nears, there are several concerns.
Kang's comments didn't clear up the discrepancy: "We've been very clear that the sanctions remain in place until and unless we see visible meaningful action taken by North Korea on the denuclearization track", she said, but it's unclear how far down that "track" North Korea must be before they get sanctions relief.
But talk of a "Libyan model" is sophistry. Libya's program was small, and it had no nukes.
Until then, however, the global sanctions will remain in place, Foreign Minister Kang said.
The Kims built their program to ensure that the United States would never overthrow them.
The regime did not have much incentive to surrender its arsenal, even before this week.
A majority of Americans who disapprove of the President, 54%, say their view is driven more by his personality and leadership qualities. "It's Nixon and Mao - that's the deal they talk about". No state armed with nuclear weapons has ever been invaded. The way the U.S. president paints the picture, it's the worldwide pressure on North Korea that he's orchestrated that has brought Kim to the table-a view Pyongyang sharply criticized last weekend. When Pompeo went to Pyongyang to fetch the USA prisoners and finalise arrangements for the summit, Kim Yong-chol, the vice-chairman of the Workers' party central committee, told him "we have perfected our nuclear capability" while insisting that the achievement was "not the result of sanctions that have been imposed from outside". The meeting will be held in Singapore.
"We can't overstate the pivotal role President Moon has played in getting us where we are today".
Trump ruled out the option of meeting at the Korean demilitarised zone-the same location where Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-In. The Koreas have taken China into some sort of confidence long before approaching the Trump administration for any prospects of peace and reconciliation.
Pompeo didn't go into details, but he suggested the US could help the North Korean economy if it were no longer a nuclear threat. Such a plan would shield Pyongyang from future United States military threats. However, in this high-stakes gamble for glory, the president could yet emulate many others who have failed to bring a sustained, peaceful diplomatic outcome to one of the key worldwide challenges facing the United States.
The good news is that superficial talks are better than another war in Asia.