Monday, 24 September, 2018

Trump upbeat ahead of NKorean summit; Kim visits Singapore sites

Nellie Chapman | 11 June, 2018, 21:55

Though Trump has been criticized for his failure to demand more concessions from North Korea before agreeing to a face-to-face meeting, which experts say gives Kim the sort of legitimacy on the worldwide stage he desires, downplaying expectations does two things. That's a sign he's confident about his grip on power back home. The city-state of 5.5 million serves as neutral turf for both sides, since it has security partnerships with the US, a North Korean embassy and strong ties with China.

By prominently showing the Air China jet that flew Kim to Singapore, the reports also made no secret of China's important role behind the scenes.

Kim Yo Jong gained notoriety at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

As for Singapore, the White House said Trump was leaving early because negotiations had moved "more quickly than expected", but gave no details about any possible progress in preliminary talks.

'Cheating Every Time' North Korea has previously promised to denuclearize, only to continue its nuclear program after receiving concessions from the USA, said Michael J. Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The United States is willing to offer North Korea "unique" security guarantees if it embarks on "complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

Lee Do-kyu, also 27 and unemployed, said the recent inter-Korean summits had raised his interest in politics, but it had waned rapidly. "I think it's not a one-meeting deal", Trump said Thursday.

Kim is due to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong later on Sunday, Singapore's ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.

If Trump and Kim fail in Singapore, "the result may be to enhance North Korean dependency on Seoul and Beijing as safety valves against the prospect of renewal of US-(North Korea) confrontation", according to Scott Snyder, a Korea expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The relative speed with which state media reported on Kim's arrival suggests a some confidence that the meeting will go well - or at least well enough.

Unlike most other publications, USA Today had a different outlook of the Trump-Kim meeting.

Kim, on the other hand, has shown he is prepared for his moment on the world stage, and could end up outfoxing Trump, said Victor Cha, a senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

He said his perception of Kim - a "bad guy with nuclear weapons" - had improved considerably following his two meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

While advisers say Trump has been reviewing briefing materials, the president insists his gut instincts will matter most when he gets in the room with Kim.

"I feel that Kim Jong-Un wants to do something great for his people". And he won't have that opportunity again.