Kim summit: North Korea hails 'new era' of relations with the US

Lester Mason
June 14, 2018

U.S. and North Korean officials were in talks in Singapore on Monday in a late bid to narrow differences before their leaders hold an historic summit aimed at finding ways to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

US President Donald Trump will on Monday hold a meeting with Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, ahead of the historic US-North Korea summit on Tuesday.

USA and North Korean officials huddled throughout Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. For the North, Kim Jong Un has already won a huge propaganda bonus by merely having the summit and sitting down as an equal with the USA president, an accomplishment his father and grandfather sought but could never realize.

Choi's fiery outburst at Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, and Vice President Mike Pence a fortnight ago was blamed for Trump suddenly, and briefly, cancelling the summit.

The invitation to Pyongyang contained in the letter, which was handed by Kim Jong-un's top aide Kim Yong Chol to the US President Trump on June 1, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing its sources privy to the matter.

"Thanks PM Lee for spending $20 million of taxpayers money, which can. help a lot of needy families in Singapore to survive", posted one Facebook user.

For the USA, the term means North Korea relinquishing nuclear weapons - but Pyongyang may agree to do so only if certain conditions are fulfilled, experts warn.


A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USA side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of scepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons.

The summit has raised hopes of progress towards a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, the last festering legacy of the Cold War, after hostilities only stopped with an armistice.

Singapore is hosting this year's meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has seen the USA and China jockey for diplomatic influence in recent weeks. He has only publicly left his country three times since taking power after his father's death in late 2011 - traveling twice to China and once across his shared border with the South to the southern part of the Demilitarized Zone in recent summits with the leaders of China and South Korea, respectively. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.

UN Security Council Resolution 2270 forbids loaning aircraft, ships and crew to North Korea, but Beijing apparently had US approval.

It's Kim's pursuit of nuclear weapons that gives his meeting with Trump such high stakes. Past nuclear deals have crumbled over North Korea's reluctance to open its doors to outsiders.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER