Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Trump, Kim set to make history

Trump, Kim set to make history

President Trump met Monday with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as the US delegation raced to complete final arrangements ahead of his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim Yong Chol, the North Korean leader's right-hand man, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui were also included in the entourage.

Kim's entourage is staying at the St Regis, less than 10 minutes walk away, with a motorcade that features a dozen North Korean bodyguards in dark suits who jog in Singapore's drenching heat beside his armoured auto.

Trump and Kim touched down on a sweltering early summer day in Singapore, the city-state founded in the early 19th Century as a British colony because of its position at the intersection of sea lanes between Europe and Asia.

"I think things can work out very nicely", Trump said briefly of Tuesday's summit, before a lunch with Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.

"If the summit becomes a success, the Singaporean efforts will go down in history", Kim said.

Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearistion (CVID) of North Korea.

Trump landed in Singapore a little after 8:30 p.m. local time for the highly-anticipated meeting with the North Korean leader, which is set to take place on Tuesday.

Kim Jong Un and Trump have shared a rocky relationship leading up to the summit.

Despite the initial high stakes of a summit meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-each-other meeting.

Mr Trump has said it normally takes him about five seconds to figure out whether he will get along with someone.

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North Koreans were offered a rare glimpse into their reclusive leader's schedule on Monday after the tightly controlled state media issued surprisingly detailed reports of his trip to Singapore.

Trump and other top USA officials have promised a "bright future" for the North if it quickly relinquishes its nuclear weapons - including economic inducements and a security agreement. Trump is expected to meet Lee on Monday.

But last month, Trump abruptly cancelled the Singapore summit, citing the "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang. Haenle served as the White House representative at negotiations with North Korea under U.S. President George W. Bush, and as a national security advisor in the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, there was no indication of Kim's schedule for the whole of Monday, ahead of his meeting with Trump that begins at 9am on Tuesday. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

"Trump is a publicity seeker".

"I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World", Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. It will certainly be an exciting day and I know that Kim Jong-un will work very hard to do something that has rarely been done before ... Create peace and great prosperity for his land.

If that feeling is not positive, Trump predicted, "I don't want to waste my time".

Trump has had recent discussions with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping - who all have vested interests in the outcome - about matters he plans to raise.

Mr Kim's itinerary was reported in detail, which is a rarity for the state's media, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Kim used his New Year's address to suggest a diplomatic opening - sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea.


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