Monday, 27 May, 2019

Kim, Trump arrive in Singapore for landmark summit

Mr Kim inspecting the honour guard in Pyongyang before departing for Singapore Mr Kim inspecting the honour guard in Pyongyang before departing for Singapore
Deanna Wagner | 12 June, 2018, 10:54

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman says he received a call from the White House ahead of President Donald Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Before signing what Trump described as a "comprehensive" document, Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting "and made a decision to leave the past behind".

Those of us who work on North Korea are used to the weirdness, so the road to the June 12 summit has been familiarly freaky: Trump's threats of "fire, fury and frankly power", the strangely large envelope at the White House, news of Central Intelligence Agency reports that Kim might allow a hamburger franchise to open in Pyongyang, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meeting in NY with one of Kim's envoys, where the Secretary tweeted photographs showing the two dining on steak and chocolate soufflé.

"Our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean Peninsula is going to a very much different situation than it has in the past". They did not smile, but exchanged grins as they walked to a nearby room.

Trump left his hotel first but arrived about seven minutes after Kim. On a larger level, the astronomical cost of the nuclear weapons program contributes to the massive poverty in North Korea, among the world's poorest countries.

The summit's venue is the Capella hotel on Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port with luxury hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches.

Inside, they sat alongside each other against a backdrop of North Korean and United States flags, with Kim beaming broadly as the United States president gave him a thumbs up.

Kim was heard telling Trump through a translator: "I think the entire world is watching this moment".

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After briefly moving away from the media glare, Mr Kim and Mr Trump reappeared, walking together along a balcony and posing for pictures.

The two leaders met for about 40 minutes and were joined only by interpreters. That was to be followed by dark chocolate tarts, pastries and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

In the past, it has also been an easy destination for the North Korean elite.

The basketball player is in Singapore for the summit, but the White House had said he will play no official role.

Hours earlier, a jet carrying Kim landed.

This Memorandum of Conversation will be supplied to the US National Archives and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and could take the form of a transcript or simply be paraphrased notes. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

The two men kicked off their summit with a handshake shortly after 9 a.m. local time Tuesday - 9 p.m. Monday in NY - marking the first face-to-face encounter between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

Trump spoke to Moon and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, both key allies of Washington in the region, to discuss developments ahead of the summit. "I too spent a sleepless night.I ardently hope for a successful meeting that brings us complete denuclearisation and peace".