Monday, 15 October, 2018

Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un arrive in Singapore for historic summit

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Melinda Barton | 11 June, 2018, 13:52

The expected key points on the agenda of the much-anticipated meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump were unveiled by KCNA, North Korea's state news agency, on Monday.

"The senior officials of the party and government sincerely wished Kim Jong Un good successes in the first summit meeting and talks between the DPRK and the U.S. and his safe return", the KCNA said.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted on his official Twitter account a picture of him shaking hands with Kim upon his arrival.

Trump, who is staying in a separate hotel, the Shangri-La, is due to meet Lee on Monday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's flight to Singapore was a tightly planned maneuver using a decoy to throw attackers off the scent.

Another Pyongyang report quoting Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of state, as telling leader Kim to achieve outstanding outcomes from the summit with the U.S. has also drawn attention. "I just think it's going to work out very nicely", said Trump at a working lunch with the prime minister of Singapore, where the meeting is being held.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of their Tuesday meeting.

The top United States and North Korean negotiators had earlier emerged from a last-ditch meeting at the Ritz Carlton with pursed lips, and no sign of whether an attempt to narrow the gap between USA and North Korean expectations of what denuclearisation should look like, had worked.

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"North Korea can not denuclearise completely right now and hope to be safe from a president who said we're going to rain fire and fury on you, from a country that's been calling you evil for 25 years", said Horacio Falcao, a negotiations expert at the INSEAD graduate business school in Singapore.

Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader's sister, arrived aboard that jet. Forging a peace treaty involving South Korea may be another topic of the Trump-Kim meeting.

Pompeo traveled twice to Pyongyang in recent months to lay the groundwork for Trump's meeting, becoming the most senior member of Trump's team to spend time with Kim face to face.

The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

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. But many say this is highly unlikely, given how hard it has been for Kim to build his program and given that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his holding onto unchecked power.

The previous USA stance, said Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation, was that "we don't deploy a president to negotiate a treaty, we deploy a president to sign a treaty where we know where every piece of punctuation is on that piece of paper". Any deal would likely depend on North Korea's willingness to open its facilities for inspection.

Trump descended from Air Force One into the steamy Singapore night, greeting officials and declaring he felt "very good" before being whisked away to his hotel via a route lined with police and photo-snapping onlookers.

The fighting ended on 27 July, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the USA -led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting.