Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Trump's improvisation faces decades of North Korean preparation

Nellie Chapman | 11 June, 2018, 16:14

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the White House this week to press Trump once more before the summit on those issues.

North Korean forces invaded the South in 1950 and the ensuing war saw US -led United Nations troops backing Seoul fight their way to a stalemate against Pyongyang's forces - which were aided by Russian Federation and China - before the conflict ended in stalemate and an armistice which sealed the division of the peninsula.

"North Korea's increased dialogue with other countries is a positive step, but before the world gets too excited they should remember that Kim Jong Un still presides over perhaps the most repressive system in the world", he said.

Kim traveling on a separate plane from his sister also adds another layer of security, North Korean researcher Christopher Green told NK News.

Mr Kim and Mr Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday for what will be the first-ever summit, set to held on Tuesday (June 12), between a leader of North Korea and a sitting U.S. president.

Earlier on Sunday evening, Trump arrived at Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base and is now staying at the Shangri-La Hotel.

A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday's meeting appeared aimed at making 11th-hour progress ahead of the summit since Sung Kim's earlier talks did little to narrow a gap between the two sides on the definition of denuclearisation or win agreement on tangible commitments from Pyongyang toward dismantling its nuclear arsenal.

Kim Jong Un met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shortly after his arrival, driving from the St. Regis Hotel where he is staying, through the famous Orchard Road shopping district, which was closed off for his tightly guarded motorcade. It comes as officials are revealing more details about meeting - the first between a U.S. president and North Korean leader.

In March, Mr Trump shocked the world by accepting an invitation from Mr Kim to meet in person. However, others reported that the Air China Boeing 747 took off before the leader's jet did by an hour or two as a security measure to avoid making his mode of transportation known.

Close US ally Japan has urged Trump to bring up the decades-old issue of its citizens abducted in 1970s and 1980s to train Pyongyang's spies in Japanese language and customs.

Rodong said Kim is in Singapore to work on 'establishing new DPRK-U.S. relations... building a durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula...realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern'.

The tests culminated in November's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea said could reach the entirety of the United States. "I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people and he has that opportunity".

"Maybe we'll start with the White House, what do you think?" he said when asked if Kim would be invited to Washington or his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Pompeo says that US sanctions on the North will remain in place until the North denuclearizes. And even if North Korea agrees to dismantle all of its nuclear weapons, what's to say it won't make more now that it has the formula?

It's a reflection of the intense global curiosity over Kim's sudden turn to diplomacy in recent months after a slew of North Korean nuclear and missile tests past year raised serious fears of war.

North Korea's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun proclaimed Kim's arrival in Singapore on its front page, in unusually swift coverage of his worldwide visit. In subsequent years, the US and South Korea signed a mutual defence treaty, but nothing for the North.

"I think we should take some optimism from that reporting", the official said.

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

It initially was meant to rid the North of its weapons, to forge the "complete denuclearization" of the country.