Monday, 25 June, 2018

Officials mulling final preparations for Trump-Kim summit

Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival Trump, Kim arrive in Singapore ahead of high-stakes summit
| 11 June, 2018, 10:56

Led by Sung Kim, a longtime State Department diplomat who now serves as the US ambassador to the Philippines, the USA team had held at least five sessions with the Pyongyang delegation over the past two weeks at the demilitarized zone in Korea.

A USA official says Monday that the leaders will meet for up to two hours before an expanded bilateral meeting with their respective advisers. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity.

Trump on Sunday called the unprecedented summit, at which North Korea's nuclear arsenal will be at the top of the agenda, a "one-time shot" at peace.

"Thank you very much", Trump said to reporters, as he turned to enter the banquet hall. He also has sought to lower expectations for the meeting, saying it may be the start of a longer process.

Singapore will spend about 20 million dollars to host the historic summit between Trump and Kim, Prime Minister Loong revealed.

Discussions would focus on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern", KCNA said.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in the tropical city-state on Sunday for the first ever face-to-face meeting by leaders of two countries that have been enemies since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

U.S. President Donald Trump and members of his delegation, including National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, attend lunch during a meeting at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018.

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

Menendez also stresses that getting a nuclear deal with North Korea will not be the hard point, noting that several previous presidents were able to strike deals only to see them fall apart.

Trump had called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on North Korea as it conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of worldwide warnings.

Kim held a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of the planned summit. Both leaders were greeted on arrival by Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.


Another still photo in the news clip showed him shaking hands with North Korean officials, with another showing him waving from outside the Air China 747 jumbo which brought him to Singapore.

Previous year the North carried out what was by far its most powerful nuclear test to date and launched a flurry of missiles - including two over Japan - while Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury" and Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged USA dotard".

Citing an unnamed US government official, .

The tests came amid a campaign of "maximum pressure", led by the United States, that tightened economic sanctions against North Korea and raised the possibility of military action.

The U.S. also wishes to win agreement on tangible denuclearization commitments from the North.

North Korea's jogging guardians caught the world's attention in April, when they escorted Kim to the landmark inter-Korea summit with South Korean President Moon Jae In. Francis said he wanted yet again to send "a special thought in friendship and prayer" to the beloved Korean people.

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening.

Trump told Lee that "we appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship".

Security around Kim's hotel was extremely tight and guests were prohibited from going in and out, hours before Kim's black Mercedes Benz limousine cruised in.

The two leaders meet at 9am (1100 AEST) on Tuesday at the Capella on Sentosa island, a refurbished British Army artillery mess that is now one of Singapore's most expensive luxury hotels.

Despite the initial high stakes of a meeting meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-each-other meeting.

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