Trump, Kim arrive for US-North Korea summit

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Even as Kim arrived in Singapore on a special Air China flight Sunday, just hours before Trump, there was still no word in North Korea.

President Trump and North Korean autocrat Kim Jong Un have arrived in Singapore ahead of the big show - an unprecedented meeting between Washington and Pyongyang's leaders that could, if things go well, pave the way for a historic rapprochement and the eventual end of the last major frozen conflict of the Cold War.

At 10am, North Korean vice-minister for foreign affairs, Choi Sun-hee, strode into the Ritz Carlton with her small team.

The meeting was Trump's only scheduled public event as White House officials prepared for the critical meeting on Tuesday with Kim.

Tuesday's meeting will be the first between a sitting United States president and a leader of North Korea, whose nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions have raised global concerns and seen tensions soar.

Choi's fiery outburst at Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, and Vice President Mike Pence a fortnight ago was blamed for Trump suddenly, and briefly, cancelling the summit.

Outside the Istana, the presidential palace where Trump was due to meet Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, well-wishers displayed American flags and a boy held up a sign reading: "I love President Trump!"

It is the farthest Kim has travelled since inheriting power in 2011, and only his third known trip outside the country since then, with the use of a Chinese plane raising questions over the state of North Korea's ageing fleet of Soviet-built aircraft.

UN Security Council Resolution 2270 forbids loaning aircraft, ships and crew to North Korea, but Beijing apparently had US approval. Again accusing the longtime USA ally of unfair trade practices, Trump added: "Then Justin acts hurt when called out!"

Singapore is hosting this year's meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has seen the US and China jockey for diplomatic influence in recent weeks.

The summit, which was on a brink of being canceled multiple times, may bring a certain amount of diplomatic and political benefits for both leaders.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations as well as the summit and the recent positive developments on the Korean peninsula.

It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.

Rather than bandy the term about, negotiators in Trump's administration should seek to obtain a commitment in writing that North Korea will abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, Cha continued.

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