Singapore summit: Kim's running bodyguards back in action

Roman Schwartz
June 11, 2018

Commenting for the first time on the agenda, North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said the two sides would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" to re-set relations.

President Trump traveled to the summit - which will be the first-ever meeting between a US president and a North Korean leader - from a G7 meeting in Quebec, Canada.

Victor Cha, top North Korea expert in the George W. Bush administration who Trump considered for South Korea ambassador, said a worst-case scenario would be that Trump puts everything on the table, prompting Kim to either balk - leading to Trump giving up - or make a vague proclamation of denuclearizing - leading to Trump declaring victory.

If the North Korean leader does indeed agree to completely abandon his country's nuclear weapons programme, Trump is expected to ease sanctions on the hermit kingdom and pave the way for much-needed foreign direct investment in the country.

Pyongyang has said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with a reliable security assurance and other benefits.

Donald Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday.

You can imagine the drumming of fingers in anterooms as officials wait to be told if there will be peace in our time, or whether it's all fallen apart and we're heading for the airport.

The summit has been portrayed as a "get to know you" meeting.

The meeting lasted more than two hours and took place at the Ritz Carlton.

Kim, up until his recent high-profile summit with South Korea's president on the southern side of their shared border, has usually hunkered down behind his vast propaganda and security services, or made short trips to autocrat-friendly China.

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Trump went from one global leadership summit to another this weekend, leaving the G-7 conference in Canada to fly to Singapore.

Aboard Air Force One en route to Singapore, Trump tweeted, "I look forward to meeting [Kim] and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!"

The report also said Mr Kim was accompanied by his foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, defence minister No Kwang Chol and sister Ms Kim Yo Jong.

The other area was Sentosa Island, site of the Capella Hotel which will be the venue for the June 12 summit. Again accusing the longtime US ally of unfair trade practices, he added: "Then Justin acts hurt when called out!"

"We suspect it'll be more of a pronouncement in which the two countries express interest in that direction, and then the details will get bogged down", Sen.

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.

Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat who recently held talks with North Korean officials, led the US delegation in working level talks on Monday.

Just meeting with Trump will also give Kim recognition as the leader of a "normal" country and as an equal of the U.S. leader.

Kim Jong Un met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shortly after his arrival, driving from the St. Regis Hotel where he is staying, through the famous Orchard Road shopping district, which was closed off for his tightly guarded motorcade.

It was not clear what Kim Jong Un, who arrived Sunday afternoon, was planning to do on Monday or whether he meant to leave his hotel, the St. Regis, about a half-mile from where Trump's delegation is staying.

Trump says does not endorse G7 communique, after 'weak' Trudeau comments
Despite his sharp differences with USA allies, the president insisted he has a "great relationship" with his foreign counterparts. He touted the "great meetings and relationships", and said that the other leaders "understand where I am coming from".

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