Sunday, 19 August, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s cargo plane bound for Singapore

AFP  Getty Images AFP Getty Images
| 10 June, 2018, 09:30

In his press conference Saturday, Trump compared what he described as a lack of action on the part of past US leaders on North Korea with the "bad" trade deals they made with key allies, including Canada and France.

President Donald Trump sounded an optimistic note Saturday morning about his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but called the meeting a "one-time shot" for Kim.

While Singapore has authoritarian leanings, it is still a thriving bastion of capitalism and wealth, and Kim will be performing his high-stakes diplomatic tight-rope walk in front of 3,000 global journalists, including a huge contingent from the ultra-aggressive South Korean press - sometimes referred to by Pyongyang as "reptile media" - two of whom were arrested by Singapore police investigating a report of trespassing at the residence of the North Korean ambassador.

Asked how he would be able to make such a distinction, he said: "My touch, my feel".

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

Donald Trump is now travelling to Singapore where he will hold a historic summit with Kim Jong-un on Tuesday - after weeks of on-again off-again chaos.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the first days after the summit date was set, spoke of US private investment in North Korea, should Kim agree to denuclearization.

"We have to get denuclearization, we have to get something going". North and South Korean soldiers glare at each other across the line that Kim Jong Un historically stepped across for his recent summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

"I think that he's going to surprise on the upside", Trump said, adding that it "may not work out".

"I think within the first minute I'll know", Trump said.


Later, the United States president expanded on this thought. Cutting off a female journalist's question about how long he thought it would take him to gauge Kim's willingness to give up his nuclear weapons, Trump assured her that his quick gut was all he would need.

Tuesday will mark the first time a sitting US president and a North Korean leader meet, though it's unclear what a nuclear deal with the isolated country will look like.

"I have a clear objective but I have to say it's going to be something that will always be spur of the moment", Trump said, of his approach to the meeting and attempts to establish peace with a reclusive, authoritarian and nuclear-armed regime.

"I really feel confident". "It's a big gamble and I'm not sure I have a good answer for what is best".

"This is a leader who really is an unknown personality", Trump added of Kim.

A black-and-white photo taken more than six decades ago shows North and South Korea coming together to sign armistice documents - which put a stop to roughly three years of fighting between the two countries - but didn't necessarily end the Korean War.

Mr Trump was able to portray North Korea's scramble to convince him to stay in the talks as a victory - but also to redefine the terms of the talks.

Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons may be top of the agenda for the United States, but Justice Kirby says human rights shouldn't be forgotten.

The Trump-Kim summit arises amid events not unfamiliar to world history. "I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!" the president tweeted.

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