Trump celebrates 72nd birthday with big cake in Singapore

Lester Mason
June 14, 2018

Kim Jong-un and Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (left) take selfies on the Jubilee bridge.

The leaders are expected to talk one-on-one, with translators only, before heading into a larger meeting.

Kim Jong Un, center, tours the Esplanade in Singapore on Monday during a surprise late-night tour.

In one video clip, Mr Kim waves to crowds as he enters Marina Bay Sands Hotel surrounded by a team of robotic body guards.

Whether that historic first meeting between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader proves substantive is another matter.

The summit has also 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. Clapper recognises the security concerns of the North: "If we can figure out a way to lead North Korea's leaders to a place where they don't feel so threatened, we could move away from the cusp of a cataclysmic war".

"If diplomacy doesn't move in the right direction, sanctions will increase", Pompeo said. "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously". But even before they met, Trump announced plans to leave early, raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.

Kim's bodyguards were also spotted running alongside the vehicle after he arrived in Singapore.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels less than half a mile apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel.

Bolton's presence at the meeting risks provoking the North Korean delegation. Bush tried to establish a new agreement, but never succeeded, and North Korea has since openly pursued nuclear weapons.

President Trump holds up the menu as he attends a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore on June 11, 2018.

He also seemed to be optimistic about the summit, saying: 'We've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely'.

Pompeo said "any suggestion that the United States somehow lacks the technical expertise across government, or lacks it on the ground here in Singapore, is mistaken".

Some prominent Americans have gradually begun to see it this way as well. Their hotels are cordoned off with heavy security. It heralded the summit as part of a "changed era".

Sanctions will remain until North Korea completely and verifiably eliminates its weapons of mass destruction programs, added Pompeo. "The United States must guarantee there will be no regime change in the DPRK", he said.

Kelsey Davenport, director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, said there were signs that the gaps between the two sides were narrowing.

They will then have a working lunch, according to a schedule of the meeting released by the White House. He described it as a "get to know you plus" meeting. The pair are due to meet at a plush summit location on the island of Sentosa.

However, North Korea will probably be unwilling to "denuclearise" as defined by the United States and its allies, either in any joint statement or in subsequent official-level talks. North Korea may or may not be able to hit Washington with a nuclear-tipped ICBM.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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