tiptrot.com June 24, 2018

'World is watching' as leaders fly in for historic Singapore summit

14 June 2018, 07:23 | Bernice Figueroa

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan welcomes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his arrival in Singapore

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan welcomes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his arrival in Singapore

Kim remained ensconced in the heavily guarded St Regis Hotel, where he is staying.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the President, Secretary of State, White House Chief of Staff, and National Security Adviser have arrived in Singapore for the June 12 summit.

Earlier in the week, Trump also said he has done little preparation for the meeting, noting that the meeting would be all about "attitude".

President Trump landed Sunday evening at Singapore's Paya Lebar Airbase.

Though it could mean many things, the relative speed of the reports about Kim travelling to Singapore could be seen as a sign of confidence by the North that the summit will go well.

Trump, speaking in Canada on Saturday, said any agreement at the summit would be "spur of the moment", underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a "mission of peace".

A team of USA officials had been in South Korea, traveling frequently to meet with North Korean officials in the demilitarized zone [DMZ] recently, to work on the substance of the talks.

They expect the North Koreans to ask for security guarantees, including a pledge that the United States and South Korea will not invade, and also a request for economic aid.

"Right now, the level of tariffs on trade in goods around the world is lower than it has been for 150 years", said Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, to the Financial Times, "and that is due to the path of US policy over the last 75 years". The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, leaving the two sides technically at war.

The North Korean autocrat's every move will be followed by 3,000 journalists up until he shakes hands with Mr Trump.

Trump arrived a few hours after Kim on Air Force One, directly from a tumultuous G7 summit in Quebec, which ended in a bitter personal exchange between the United States president and the host, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Lee will have a separate meeting with Trump on Monday.

The meeting marks a sharp turnaround in the status of Mr Kim from worldwide pariah to global player.

The meeting was Trump's only scheduled public event today.

Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), recently visited Washington to deliver a letter from Kim to Trump.

As they sat down, Kim also repeatedly praised the "excellent conditions provided" by the host country, and remarked that "for this historical summit, Singapore has provided the necessary conditions for it to take place".

China, the North's main ally, apparently wants to highlight its leverage over the North in resolving the country's nuclear standoff. Kim's schedule on Monday is not known.

A diplomatic source in Singapore on Monday told NK News, however, not to "put a great significance" on the working-level meetings.

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