North Korea's Kim lands in Singapore ahead of summit with Trump

Lester Mason
June 12, 2018

In some instances, past deals struck by previous USA administrations with North Korea paused - but failed to roll back - North Korea's program, which has only grown over the years.

With a handshake in Singapore, President Trump and Kim Jong Un made history Tuesday morning in the first meeting between a sitting US president and the head of the North Korean regime.

Mr Kim arrived in town on Sunday for a historic summit on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump to discuss possible denuclearisation efforts. "Many of us are praying for a successful meeting in #Singapore".

In the same statement, the White House said the talks between U.S. and North Korean officials were moving "more quickly than expected", though didn't elaborate on what precisely that meant for Trump's stated goal of securing North Korea's complete and verifiable denuclearization.

A chief nuclear strategist for decades, he authored the letter responding to Trump's decision to cancel the summit, saying North Korea was still willing "to sit down face-to-face with the USA and resolve issues anytime and in any format".

But a series of diplomatic overtures involving North Korea, South Korea and the United States reduced tensions and led Trump in March to quickly accept Kim's invitation to meet.

He said: "We have had substantive and detailed meetings to date, including this morning with the North Koreans".

Asked by a reporter how the meeting was going, Trump said: "Very good".

"We have watched the struggles, and the sacrifices and the progress of the people", he said.

At a signing ceremony alongside Kim, Trump called the document "pretty comprehensive" despite its lack of specifics.

At a press conference earlier on Sunday, Loong said that the summit cost approximately $20 million, which is a price the Singapore was "willing to pay".

Trump and Kim, however, appeared to have a friendly rapport during their day together at the Singapore island resort.

"They may be able to pull rabbits out of a hat that the rest of us conventional diplomats would not have been able to do", he said. But on Monday evening, the White House announced Trump would depart for Washington by 8 p.m. Tuesday evening in Singapore, leaving little time for follow-up.

Trump was joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, for the expanded talks, while Kim's team included former military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, foreign minister Ri Yong Ho and Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party.

Trump, too, has recently sought to minimize expectations, saying additional meetings may be necessary. "I also learned that he loves his country very much".

"I think within the first minute - my touch, my feel, that's what I do", the president said, touting his deal-making experience as a businessman.

Trump did not answer a reporter's question on whether the two spoke about Otto Warmbier, the American student who died shortly after his release from North Korean imprisonment in a coma exactly one year ago. "That's what I do".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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