Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un arrive in Singapore for historic summit

11 June, 2018, 10:57 | Author: Angel Logan
  • US President Donald Trump described the talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as a

Final preparations are underway in Singapore for Tuesday's historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump on Monday morning broke into a Twitter tirade about trade directed at America's European allies with the upbeat message: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement is in the air!".

State media in North Korea on Monday (Jun 11) covered Kim Jong Un's arrival in Singapore in a news bulletin.

Trump's Air Force One touched down at the military airbase Paya Lebar later on Sunday.

The mercurial United States leader has whipsawed on expectations for the meeting, signalling that it could be the beginning of a "process" of several meetings, only to call it a "one-time shot" for peace as he embarked for Singapore.

Korean Studies Institute director David Kang lowered expectations for Tuesday's summit, saying: "The most we can hope to get out of this is that Kim and Trump find that they can have some working relationship".

Mr Trump said on Saturday he thinks he will know "within the first minute" if Mr Kim, who is Chairman of North Korea's State Affairs Commission, is serious about giving up his nuclear arsenal and whether "something positive will happen".

Speaking as he met with Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday for lunch, Trump said: "We have a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow and I think things can work out very nicely".

Mr Trump could also consider opening an American embassy in Pyongyang, the report said.

Earlier in the day, a team of USA negotiators arrived at the Ritz-Carlton hotel to meet with its North Korean counterparts to try to nail down final details for the summit, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

Kim held a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of the planned summit.

After a flurry of contacts between the two Koreas, South Korean officials suggested to Trump in March that Kim would be willing to meet face-to-face.

The summit would discuss "building a permanent and durable peacekeeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realising denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" and other issues "as required by the changed era".

Travelling with him were top officials including Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Defence Minister No Kwang Chol and Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim who has been instrumental in the diplomacy that culminated in Tuesday's summit.

Security around Kim's hotel was extremely tight and guests were prohibited from going in and out, hours before Kim's black Mercedes Benz limousine cruised in.

Trump initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile program that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States. But he also made clear Kim has a "one-time shot".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said USA and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday.

It's Kim's pursuit of nuclear weapons that gives his meeting with Trump such high stakes. He has not left his country since taking office in 2011 other than to visit China and the South Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone on the border. But many say this is highly unlikely, given how hard it has been for Kim to build his program and given that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his holding onto unchecked power. "It's North Korea", said one Western tourist with a shrug.

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