Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Trump and Kim Jong Un Hold Historic Summit in Singapore

U.S. President Donald Trump flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attend a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and officials at the Istana in Singapore Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un arrive in Singapore for historic summit
Deanna Wagner | 12 June, 2018, 01:33

"We'd start at least a dialogue", Trump told reporters as he departed the G-7 summit in Quebec, Canada. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to keep expectations for the summit in check.

"If they don't denuclearize, that will not be acceptable".

In a statement obtained by CNN, Rodman says he considers Trump to be a friend and expressed his confidence in his ability to get the job done in their summit.

From there, the two will engage in more talks with advisers joining them through a working lunch.

Exuding confidence, Trump said he has done relatively little formal preparation.

The summit will be the first meeting between Trump and Kim and mark a turnaround of relations between the two leaders after a long-running exchange of furious threats and insults. And the maximum, I think you know the answer to that.

A transport plane - one of three aircraft that headed to Singapore - also carried food and Kim's bullet-proof limousine. In 2015, the leaders of China and Taiwan held historic talks in the city-state - their first in more than 60 years.

Security is tight ahead of the summit between two unpredictable men who in the past have threatened to destroy the other's country during the stand-off over North Korea's nukes. He credits his administration's "maximum pressure" campaign with getting Kim to the table. It's where former Chinese President Hu Jin Tao stayed during the 2009 APEC Summit (and don't tell Trump, but Hillary Clinton stayed there in 2011, too).

Absent a detailed historical record and corroborating witnesses, the president's interlocutor could potentially leave the meeting and misrepresent what transpired, creating a he-said-he-said showdown that could turn into a major headache for the US leader.

"This would bring us a step closer to reunification." she said. "We now know they have a pretty good track record in these negotiations - a flawless track record of cheating every time, so that's the context we now face".

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The process could turn on what Trump is willing to offer Kim for ending his pursuit of nuclear weapons and submitting to intrusive inspections. But no one can credibly suggest that a durable or verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula can be achieved when North Korea remains a completely closed and totalitarian state.

The rare public appearance of Kim, waving and smiling to onlookers, adds to the more affable image of the young leader that has emerged since his summit in April with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in.

The summit is seemingly created to focus on North Korea's nuclear arsenal, though the details surrounding it remain hazy and it's not clear exactly what Trump and Kim will discuss when they initially meet.

In part, these lowered expectations are a reflection of the extreme skepticism among many that the North can be persuaded to give up a nuclear programme it has stubbornly built over the decades, often in secrecy and despite intense sanctions, global condemnation and widespread suffering among its people.

The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected.

The US insists it will accept nothing less than complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. That would avoid the prospect of Kim winning sanctions relief for gradual progress while remaining a nuclear power.

Mr Trump has said he has a "good feeling" about Tuesday's much-anticipated summit.

"It is quite unusual" for state media to report major events in near-real time, said the South Korean Unification Ministry, according to NPR correspondent Elise Hu. "It's what happens after the agreement that really is the big point".

The Economist and CNN do not predict a favourable result for the Trump-Kim summit either. "It's about attitude, it's about willingness to get things done". Videos showed them being swarmed by other journalists outside the hotel. The former businessman said he has spend a lifetime preparing for negotiations of this type, and predicted he would know in an instant if Kim is serious about the topic of denuclearisation.