Saturday, 17 November, 2018

The Trump-Kim peace summit has been downgraded to a half-day

Anti-war civic group activists attend a rally to support the upcoming summit between the U.S. and North Korea in front of U.S. embassy in Seoul South Korea. The banner reads Mike Pompeo draws firm line on North Korea as summit hangs in balance
Andrew Cummings | 15 June, 2018, 02:18

"People are going to be very impressed and people are going to be very happy and we are going to take care of a very risky problem for the world", Trump said.

Sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until that happened, Pompeo said on Monday.

"If diplomacy does not move in the right direction.those measures will increase", he said.

US and North Korean officials were in talks in Singapore on Monday in a late bid to narrow differences before their leaders hold an unprecedented summit meeting aimed at finding ways to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore for his summit with President Trump with security on his mind - dispatching decoy planes from Pyongyang to thwart anyone who might try to attack him and packing his own food for his visit to try to prevent poisoning.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations as well as the summit and the recent positive developments on the Korean peninsula.

On Monday, crowds of journalists and curious locals gathered around the hotels where Trump and Kim are staying, while most other Singaporeans went about their daily routines - going to and from work, shopping and jogging past security checkpoints and police stationed with shotguns and rifles. White-uniformed U.S. Navy members are perched on pearl-colored couches. "But I think he has an intention to do something, and that's why he's meeting Donald Trump", Lee said.

"There are only two people that can make decisions of this magnitude".

It is unclear what Mr Trump and Mr Kim might decide on Tuesday.

Trump's high-risk meeting with Kim is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, or 8 p.m.

In a post-summit interview with ABC News, Trump said the agreement provides a "framework for getting ready to denuclearize", and he said he trusts Kim to follow through.

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See Pics | Here's how Singapore is prepping for historic Trump-Kim meet
Ms Serena Lim, 58, who is in the property industry, said: "It's an honour that Singapore was chosen to host the summit". But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation .

Pyongyang has said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits.

Kim would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" on issues including "building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula" and "realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", it added.

As Trump was trying to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies, withdrawing from the G-7 joint communique, escalating a trade fight and launching blistering criticism against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The official said Trump and Kim would hold a one-on-one meeting on Tuesday that could last up to two hours. U.S. officials have already established a contingency plan for a two-day summit should the two leaders agree to an immediate second-round of talks.

The lobby of President Donald Trump's hotel in Singapore has turned into a bustling mixing ground for U.S government officials of all stripes.

He initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile programme that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States.

In Singapore, the island city-state hosting the summit, the sense of anticipation was palpable, with people lining spotless streets Monday waving cellphones as Trump headed to meet Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Even hours before the unprecedented meeting, it was unclear if it would produce a breakthrough or collapse in acrimony.

Pyongyang's definition of denuclearization is much more opaque, but is believed to be much broader in scope and possibly include things like United States nuclear-capability assets in the region, Washington's large troop presence on South Korea or its inclusion of Seoul in its "nuclear umbrella".

The discussions come on the eve of Trump's historic meeting with Kim.

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