Kim Jong-un's bodyguards jog by vehicle in Singapore

Jun 11, 2018, 08:33
Kim Jong-un's bodyguards jog by vehicle in Singapore

SINGAPORE, June 9 ― A rare direct flight from Pyongyang landed in Singapore today ahead of the expected arrival of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un for a summit with US President Donald Trump to discuss ending the North's isolation and its nuclear programme.

They are scheduled to meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa. Singapore is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so the summit starts around 9 p.m. ET on Monday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that progress was being made in bringing the two sides together in their understanding of denuclearisation.

Pope Francis has prayed that the summit this week between the US and North Korean leaders succeeds in laying the groundwork for peace.

What counts as "denuclearization" is an open question.

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 USA administrations have failed to do. The White House would likely want a faster timeline.

Kim's chief of staff was spotted in Beijing last week after wrapping up talks with US officials in Singapore which had included security discussions.

As Kim's motorcade approached his hotel in Singapore another two North Korean cameramen in black suits emerged through the sun-roof of a black SUV, filming the crowd.

Relief from economic sanctions that have blocked foreign investment and trade.

The eventual removal of the roughly 30,000 USA troops from South Korea.

In March, Trump surprised the world by accepting an invitation from Kim to meet in person.

During a promotional event dubbed the "real" Trump-Kim summit, the men waved at shoppers as they walked through the crowded Bugis Junction mall.

Traveling with Kim were top officials including Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim who has been instrumental in the diplomacy that culminated in tomorrow's summit.

"I think I'll know pretty quickly whether or not, in my opinion, something positive will happen".

"I appreciated it very much, and nothing other than".

On the U.S. side, joining Trump was a delegation of high-level officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. Moon later proposed a tri-lateral meeting to put a formal end to the Korean war after the summit.

Trump has said he hopes to make a legacy-defining deal for the North to give up its nuclear weapons, though he has recently sought to manage expectations, saying that it may take more than one meeting. "I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!" He has also raised the possibility of further summits.

The war of words between Mr. Trump and Kim has died down.

. Seeing Nobel Peace Prize laurels and eyeing potential to show up his critics at home and overseas, Trump is granting Kim the worldwide legitimacy he's long sought in hopes of securing a legacy-defining accord. A statement from North Korea last September referred to Mr. Trump as "mentally deranged" and a "dotard", which can mean senile.

"No doubt that Mr Trump and his team prepared with cultural coach and will rely on the assistance of professional interpreters to help making their point respectfully and efficiently".

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