North Korea's dictator comes in from the cold

Leroy Wright
June 11, 2018

Sources told CNN that U.S. officials have established a contingency plan for a potential second day of discussions between Trump and Kim depending on the direction of their planned meeting on June 12.

Kim held a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of the planned summit.

Kim and Trump both arrived in Singapore a few hours apart on Sunday.

Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air! While Kim and his delegation are now staying at the St. Regis Hotel amid heavy security.

Security was also tight outside the Shangri La Hotel, where Trump is expected to stay.

Still, questions remain about what a deal on the North's nuclear weapons could look like.

"I hope the first priority of the real meeting is to have Kim stop shooting off missiles and destabilizing the region".

Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation (CVID) of the North, while Pyongyang has so far only made public pledges of its commitment to the denuclearisation of the peninsula - a term open to wide interpretation - while seeking security guarantees.

He added in addition to using bulletproof vehicles, North Korea's security detail would likely deploy layers of protection surrounding the summit venue and try to divert attention from Kim Jong Un's auto whenever he moves.

The two are due to meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa for their high-stakes summit, the first-ever talks between the USA and North Korean leader and the culmination of a head-spinning diplomatic dance.

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"Beijing knows that it has limited influence over both the United States and North Korea when it comes to denuclearisation", said Zhao Tong, a North Korea specialist at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre in Beijing.

Some members of Congress and of Mr. Trump's administration, including his national security adviser, John R. Bolton, have advocated regime change in the North.

"The entire world is watching the historic summit between [North Korea] and the United States of America, and thanks to your honest efforts ... we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit", Mr Kim told Mr Lee through an interpreter.

North Korean state media has confirmed that the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. will focus on ensuring permanent peace and a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula in Singapore.

"I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World", Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.

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 United States and North Korea have been in a technical state of war for decades after the eruption of the 1950-1953 Korean War, which pitted U.S. -led U.N. troops backing Seoul against Pyongyang's forces that were aided by China.

Trump initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile programme that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States, insisting he would swiftly achieve what previous U.S. administrations have failed to do.

Trump, speaking in Canada on Saturday, said any agreement at the summit would be "spur of the moment", underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a "mission of peace".

North Korean leaders have been known to travel with an iron-clad security detail when on trips, even to the North Korea's countryside to inspect facilities.

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