Moon will not travel to Singapore during DPRK-US summit: ROK official

Frederick Owens
June 14, 2018

The top US diplomat emphasised that complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation "is the only outcome that the United States will accept" from North Korea, sending a stern message to Pyongyang before Tuesday's meeting in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

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.

The White House announced Monday that Trump will leave Singapore earlier than originally planned, saying negotiations with North Korea have moved "more quickly than expected".

Donald Trump has made a decision to leave his historic summit with Kim Jong-un 15 hours earlier than expected, flying back to Washington on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday morning. Tuesday's meeting could pave the way toward a "new era of prosperity, security and peace", Trump said. "I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!" But on the eve of the summit, he altered his schedule, opting to return at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday after a full day of meetings with Kim - nearly 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday also expressed hope for the success of the talks, but said the event is only the beginning of a "long process" of denuclearizing the communist state, which he said could take years.

The United States-North Korea summit is scheduled to happen in Singapore's Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. "The US administration will have to see tangible steps over time by NK toward denuclearization", Ken Gause, an expert on North Korea's leadership and a director of International Affairs Group at CNA.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment that many people never expected to ever see, Kim remarked that many of those watching "will think of this as a scene from a fantasy. science fiction movie".

"We have a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely", Trump told Lee.

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Critics of the summit leapt at the handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage as an equal of the USA president.

Trump's early exit will be his second from a summit in just a few days. The outlet also listed the individuals accompanying Kim to Singapore, including Kim Yong-chol, the USA -designated terrorist whom Kim sent to the White House two weeks ago, and Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's sister, who made headlines attending the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

He has raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement on ending the Korean War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty. The other few options were China, South Korea and Russian Federation, although the latter would have been a long shot, what with the United States imposing sanctions on trade with Moscow.

Hotel staff discouraged other guests from interacting with the North Koreans, or taking their photographs.

President Donald Trump has arrived in Singapore where he will meet with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".

On Sunday, however, KCNA detailed Kim's departure from Pyongyang, where senior officials saw him off in an official ceremony. The two men will first meet one-on-one in a closed session, before a larger meeting with key advisers, U.S. officials said.

President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un spent Monday huddling with advisers in luxury Singapore hotels less than half a mile apart, readying for a nuclear summit that could define the fate of millions, and their own political futures.

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