Final preparations underway ahead of landmark Trump-Kim summit

Gladys Abbott
June 12, 2018

Much attention will be on Kim Jong Un at his historic summit Tuesday with President Donald Trump. One dispatch by the Korean Central News Agency said North Korea and the U.S. would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" on establishing new relations, building a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism", achieving denuclearization and "other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era".

The White House also announced Trump would be leaving Singapore earlier than previously expected and holding a media availability ahead of his departure.

With a handshake in Singapore, President Trump and Kim Jong Un made history Tuesday morning in the first meeting between a sitting USA president and the head of the North Korean regime. Trump is to be joined by Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly, national security adviser John Bolton and a few others.

Kim reportedly has settled into the Presidential Suite on the palatial St. Regis' top floor that offers sweeping views of the city, artwork by some of the world's greatest artists and a price tag of up to $9,000 a night.

The White House said the daylong summit would also include a working lunch and a larger meeting involving aides to both leaders.

North Korea has said it is willing to commit to denuclearisation, but it is unclear how this will be achieved or what might be requested in return.

US President Donald Trump is set to meet tomorrow with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore in one of the stranger diplomatic détentes in post-Cold War history.

On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up in pace, with US and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel.

With cameras of the world's press trained on them, Trump and Kim built an initial atmosphere of friendship.

"It's hospitality that we would have offered them, and as Chairman Kim said yesterday, he would have liked to have come to Singapore anyway, with or without the summit", Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told the BBC. Again accusing the longtime U.S. ally of unfair trade practices, Trump added: "Then Justin acts hurt when called out!"

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The North Korean leader has also said he now wants to focus on building the country's economy - and wants sanctions relief and worldwide investment.

Rodman appeared in Trump's Celebrity Apprentice reality TV show, only to be booted off because he misspelled Melania Trump's name.

There will not be a repeat of "flimsy agreements" made between previous US administrations and North Korea, Secretary Pompeo told reporters in Singapore on Monday.

Trump is hoping to get Kim to agree to get rid of his nuclear weapons, though he has said it may take many more meetings to get to that point. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

Trump made the comments sitting next to Kim minutes after the two leaders shook hands for the first time, images that were broadcast worldwide. Meanwhile, Mr Kim has called Mr Trump "mentally deranged" and a "dotard".

The fighting ended on 27 July, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the US -led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting.

He went out of his way to be cordial during two summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April and May.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation.

Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people _ the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

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