Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of historic North Korea summit

Hugh Fox
June 11, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's entourage in Singapore includes some of the top apparatchiks.

The official said Trump and Kim would hold a one-on-one meeting on Tuesday that could last up to two hours. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity.

Earlier this month, Singapore's defense minister said the US trade threats were as disruptive to the global order as China's military deployments in the disputed South China Sea.

Still, even as he turned his attention to the summit, Trump continued his blistering attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday, saying "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal".

Mr Kim has the "opportunity" to make a deal with the US, Mr Trump said on Saturday, but he "won't have that opportunity again".

President Donald Trump has arrived in Singapore where he will meet with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

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With the eyes of the world following him, Trump flew into Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base aboard Air Force One on Sunday, fresh from a divisive G7 meeting in Canada with some of Washington's closest allies that further strained global trade ties. The North Korean delegation, which was led by Choe Son Hui, the vice foreign minister, also was mum as it arrived a few minutes later.

Kim, who met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday after arriving, thanked him for hosting the event.

"I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people, and he has that opportunity".

Another Pyongyang report quoting Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of state, as telling leader Kim to achieve outstanding outcomes from the summit with the USA has also drawn attention.

Trump's high-risk meeting with Kim is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, or 9 p.m. June 11 on the U.S. East Coast.

Sanders says Trump spent his flight from Canada to Singapore "meeting with his staff, reading materials and preparing for his meetings in Singapore". The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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Experts believe the North is on the brink of being able to target the entire United States mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the U.S. and the North.

He has said the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

His sister, Kim Yo-jong, who was involved in lowering the tension between North Korea and the worldwide community by attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea in January, is among the North Korean delegation staying at the St Regis.

The North Korean autocrat's every move will be followed by 3,000 journalists who have converged on Singapore, and by gawkers around the world, up until he shakes hands with Trump on Tuesday. Kim visited China twice this year, but the North's media made them public only after he returned to Pyongyang.

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening. The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

The two were North Korean media workers waiting to capture images of their leader, who all North Koreans are duty bound to revere, arriving for a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

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The previous U.S. stance, said Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation, was that "we don't deploy a president to negotiate a treaty, we deploy a president to sign a treaty where we know where every piece of punctuation is on that piece of paper". But it remains unclear if Kim will part with what he likely views as his most important bargaining chip any time soon.

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