North Korea leader Kim arrives in Singapore ahead of Trump meeting

Share

The stars of Tuesday's highly-anticipated summit are undoubtedly President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "But we overcame all of them, and we are here today", Kim said through a translator as the two met for the first time. Pompeo brought them home last month on the second of his two visits with Kim to lay the groundwork for Tuesday.

Previous summits, North Korean TV has not said anything about them to North Koreans until after the summit was over.

In the same statement, the White House said the talks between United States and North Korean officials were moving "more quickly than expected", though didn't elaborate on what precisely that meant for Trump's stated goal of securing North Korea's complete and verifiable denuclearization.

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrapped up a visit to Washington and Pyongyang on Saturday and told reporters in Beijing that both sides had expressed thanks for Singapore's work to prepare for the summit on a short notice.

Trump's supporters have floated the idea that forging such a treaty, which would need a signoff from China and South Korea, would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sung Kim arrives at the Ritz-Carlton hotel to meet with North Korean vice-foreign minister Choe Son Hui, June 11, 2018, in Singapore.

But other reports said it was Kim who chose to leave early, even though Trump was willing to stick around.

Mr Kim arrived in town on Sunday for a historic summit on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump to discuss possible denuclearisation efforts. "And we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt", Trump said during a joint press conference leading up to longer negotiations. "Many of us are praying for a successful meeting in #Singapore". He's been a veteran diplomat on the issue of North Korea for over a decade.

He met with Pompeo in NY last month before heading to the White House to hand-deliver a letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump.

In the lead-up to the summit, USA and North Korean officials were convening contentious final-hour negotiations in a Ritz Carlton hotel here in a bid to narrow gaps on key aspects of the meeting.

Sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until that happened, Pompeo said.

The two are due to meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa for their high-stakes summit, the first-ever talks between a US and North Korean leader and the culmination of a head-spinning diplomatic dance.

Kim has shown surprising diplomatic skills in his meetings with overseas leaders this year.

However, Trump and his aides insist that a USA -led "maximum pressure" campaign of the toughest-ever economic sanctions, diplomatic action and military threats is what has drawn Kim to the negotiating table.

It's not clear what the U.S. side has been able to extract from the North Koreans in terms of their willingness to get rid of their nuclear weapons or allow inspectors into the country to catalogue the scale of their program.

It's not just the logistics of Kim's trip that are unclear. "I'll tell you what the Marshall wants more than anything".

Share