Talks at North Korean summit moving 'more quickly than expected'

Jun 12, 2018, 02:18
Talks at North Korean summit moving 'more quickly than expected'

The world will be watching to see if US President Donald Trump can broker a deal to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.

Trump and Kim landed in a city teeming with media and onlookers of all stripes, from foreign policy analysts like Kelly and Enos to former basketball star Dennis Rodman, who claims to be a friend of the two leaders.

"When I woke up this morning, I saw the news in the newspaper that our respected marshal went to Singapore for the North Korea-US summit", said Han Il-gwang, a Pyongyang resident, displaying typical discretion.

The clearest benchmarks about what the U.S.is seeking from the summit, however, have come from Pompeo rather than Trump.

It wasn't immediately clear what specific progress, if any, had been made in preliminary discussions between USA and North Korean officials in the run-up to the Tuesday summit.

Both the U.S. and North Korea have to agree on a venue that meets their requirements and is "politically and diplomatically" acceptable to them as well, he said.

For his part, Trump accused the summit host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, of lying, and threatened to end trade with G-7 nations that he said use unfair practices. "The scale is bigger, the number of journalists coming is huge, even more than what we had for the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank meetings (in Singapore in 2006)", he said.

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It is unclear, however, under what terms North Korea would agree to in an effort to reduce its nuclear arsenal.

"It's unknown territory, in the truest sense", Trump said during the G-7.

US allies are anxious that Trump could upend decades of global precedent, NPR's Mara Liasson reported on Weekend Edition Sunday.

Larry Kudlow, Trump's economic adviser, said Sunday on CNN that Trudeau's criticism had damaged Trump's prestige before the summit - and that's why Trump reacted so strongly. Last week, Trump expressed his hope for the normalization of relations with Pyongyang following the summit and did not rule out the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries.

Pompeo criticized a report in The New York Times that questioned whether the USA has the technical expertise needed on the ground in Singapore.

He told reporters he would "know within a minute" whether Mr Kim was serious about giving up his nuclear weapons.

"In this case, what is important is that the summit is being held, and we are hosting it, not extravagantly but with due consideration to costs and making sure operational requirements are met", he said.

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