'North Korean media act against odds this time'

Jun 12, 2018, 02:06
'North Korean media act against odds this time'

The White House says Trump will leave Singapore Tuesday, because the talks have "moved more quickly than expected".

Less than two days before his tête-a-tête with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the president who initially welcomed the idea that his efforts might net him a Nobel Prize was downplaying the possibility that Tuesday's meeting would lead to any major breakthroughs.

Trump's advisers, meanwhile, have from the start of the summit discussions pushed the idea that there would be no letting up of economic sanctions against North Korea unless Kim agrees to complete "denuclearization".

Experts on North Korea say that the shortened meeting time leaves nearly no room to forge a path for Pyongyang's "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization", or CVID, which the US State Department was promising just last week.

He told reporters at a news conference on Monday, "We are hopeful the summit will have set the conditions for future productive talks".

Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went on an evening tour of Singapore on Monday, posing with city-state officials at a tropical garden before visiting an infinity pool atop a landmark waterfront hotel, to the surprise of guests.

Mr. Trump's actions led to an extraordinary juxtaposition: an abrupt public feud and deterioration of ties between the US and Canada at the same moment as warm words and a detente between the USA and North Korea.

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. Trump later accused the New York Times of quoting a senior White House official "who doesn't exist".

The Monday report from the Korean Central News Agency mentioned the summit agenda, including denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim smiled as he took a selfie with Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the scenic waterfront Gardens by the Bay. "We have to get denuclearisation, we have to get something going". He has also said that North Korea would benefit economically after sanctions are lifted.

North Korea has said it is willing to commit to denuclearisation, but that term is open to interpretation.

Trump also called the leaders of South Korea and Japan in advance of the summit, Pompeo said.

North Korea had also threatened to strike Guam, an American territory in the Pacific Ocean. Considering Trump has admitted that he hasn't prepared for this upcoming meeting, he will need to rely on his alleged "best negotiator" skills to get the job done.

Both Mr Trump and Mr Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday. "But I think something positive has to come out of the first meeting". The two will later be joined by officials and have lunch together. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

It was a striking about-face from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged USA dotard".

Less than a week before the summit, Trump dismissed questions about his readiness, saying, "I don't think I have to prepare very much".

Tensions between the two countries escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up efforts to boost its nuclear weapons programme.

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